Education: Racial Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with Universities UK about combating racism in medical schools.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Racism is abhorrent and we all have a part to play in combating it, in higher education and more widely.

Universities have a responsibility to ensure they provide a safe and inclusive environment for all staff and students. The government expects institutions to take their responsibilities, including those under the Equality Act (2010), seriously and to have in place appropriate policies and procedures to tackle racism.

The government continues to work with Universities UK (UUK) to support work on implementing its ‘Changing the Culture’ framework.

UUK has an advisory group to tackle racial harassment in higher education institutions, chaired by Professor David Richardson, and in March announced the appointment of independent external advisers to strengthen the work of this group. My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote to Professor Richardson in April to thank him for his continued work to address racial harassment in higher education and to express her interest in the outcomes of the advisory group’s work. In addition, officials at the Department for Education regularly meet UUK to discuss progress on tackling these important issues.

Furthermore, the British Medical Association has guidance, support, and information on discrimination and harassment in the medical profession, which covers racial harassment in medical schools; this is available on their website at www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/discrimination-and-harassment.

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