Group of students at Festival of Cultures 2019

Dedicated to equality

We strive to represent, support and uplift our diverse University community

We know that racial inequalities exist in Higher Education. We aim to develop a culture that encourages open, honest and difficult conversations about race equality among our staff and students. And we seek to create positive change.

We’ve been a member of the Race Equality Charter since 2018, and we earned a Bronze Award in 2021 as a result of our commitment to uplifting our Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students. Our staff are encouraged to join our race equality and multicultural staff networks to make sure all voices are heard. We also support our students’ work to promote equality through dedicated Students’ Union ambassadors and cultural student-led societies.

Our membership of the Race Equality Charter demonstrates our commitment to tackling race inequality for staff and students, through long-term institutional culture change. If you have questions about our commitment to the Race Equality Charter, please email

Find out more about our events, partnerships with like-minded networks, and resources and support for wider participation and action towards race equality.

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Race Equality Charter Bronze Award

Promoting race equality as an employer

Race Equality Supporters Network

The Race Equality Supporters Network works to improve the representation, progression and success of our minority ethnic staff and students.The Network is open to all staff who wish to actively support and learn more about race equality at the University, and help us on our Race Charter journey.
Staff meeting
Staff can join here

Multicultural Staff Network

The Multicultural Staff Network informs and promotes University policies which have relevance to and an impact on Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority staff. It is a collective voice for Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority staff to initiate positive change across the University. In 2021, the Network organised our first staff BAME conference 'And Still We Rise', hosted by our Chancellor, Karen Blackett OBE. The conference focused on challenging structural inequalities with discussion groups for Black, Asian and minority ethnics staff and alumni, and for allies.
Guest speakers at career centre
Staff can join here

Staff and student training

Our Equality and Diversity training for staff includes a module that looks at racial bias within the workplace. Our core training also covers unconscious bias, anti-bullying and harassment, and hate crime awareness. We're looking to introduce more training in areas such as institutional racism, white privilege and power, and racial microaggressions.
Students and staff in a lecture hall
Staff can join here

Promoting race equality for our students

PGM Ambassador scheme

PGM Ambassadors are students employed to represent the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students, and to campaign for race equality in the curriculum and student experience. They work alongside the Students' Union and the University to address the Black, Asian and minority ethnic degree-awarding gap.
UPSU logo
Meet the ambassadors

Addressing the degree-awarding gap

Addressing the Black and Minority Ethnic degree-awarding gap is a priority area of our Access and Participation Plan. We've identified issues affecting the awarding gap, and outlined actions we can take to reduce the gap. These include decolonising the curriculum and improving our recruitment policies.
2 female students laughing while discussing notes
Read the latest plan

Scholarship and support fund for Black students

Recognising that systemic racism has impacted Black families and lives over generations, the Scholarship and Support Fund for Black Students assists Black students who face financial challenges. Students awarded a scholarship benefit from mentorship, study abroad opportunities, internships, global experiences and more.
Smiling male Black student
Read more about the fund
13/10/21..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.13/10/21.Yvonne Howard - University of Portsmouth ..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

As a mother of a young, black male student, I am committed to ensuring people are fairly rewarded for their effort. We are sharpening our sight on a new vision, with equity and inclusion at the heart – people are having brave conversations about inequalities and your voices will drive action.

Yvonne Howard, Director of Race and Equality

Race equality support and resources

Student Wellbeing Service

Our students can get advice and free, confidential support for emotional wellbeing, mental health, and personal and emotional concerns. Our advisers are experienced in providing confidential support to students who are victims or witnesses of hate crime.
Students getting health and wellbeing support
Find out more

Equality and diversity careers support

Our students can get advice on how to identify employers and organisations that promote inclusivity and diversity in their workplace. We have a specific employment guide for Black, Asian and minority ethnics students, and for those looking for an employer with positive approaches to religion and beliefs.
Meeting to support students
Go to the equality and diversity employment guide

Student cultural societies

The Students' Union has many cultural societies representing students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds that offer safe spaces for students to make friends, attend events and run campaigns. We commit to promoting and supporting their events and campaigns, such as Fusion Festival.
Student at Festival of Cultures
Discover your society

Local groups and support services

As a student, you'll always have the support of our Student Wellbeing Service, who can give you free, confidential support and signpost you to these services in the local area, which are also available to staff:

  • HIVE Portsmouth – HIVE have a listing of all cultural support and social groups in Portsmouth, including the Bangladesh Welfare Association, the Portsmouth Asian, Social & Cultural Organisation (PASCO), the Portsmouth Chinese Association and the Portsmouth Race Equality Network Organisation (PRENO)
  • Mental Health Foundation: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities – An online resource looking at the impact of issues such as racism and discrimination, and key mental health statistics for specific BAME communities
  • NUS Black Students Network – A network of students that supports and facilitates conversations on issues affecting Black students at a local, national and international level

Reporting hate crime

Our Dignity and Respect policy asks all students and staff to take personal responsibility for reporting:

  • any incidents where dignity and respect is not demonstrated
  • incidents of bullying and harassment
  • any form of discrimination that they are aware of

Report and Support tool

Staff and students can use the Report and Support tool to submit an anonymous report of bullying, harassment, assault or a hate crime, or an informal report to request an adviser.

If you witness or experience any experience of harassment, bullying, violence or discrimination at Portsmouth, you can submit an anonymous report or an informal report to request an adviser. We also have a formal complaints procedure for all staff and students.

Celebrating diversity

Students and staff run public talks, exhibitions, workshops and concerts to celebrate race equality in our community.

We want our events to widen the discussion of racial inequality experienced by our staff, students and members of the local community. By doing this, we hope to raise awareness of the issues and struggles, so initiative can be taken to address them.

Black History Month

During October each year, we run a full programme of public events to celebrate Black History Month in partnership with the Multicultural Staff Network, Student Union and Portsmouth Film Society. The aim of the programme is to promote knowledge of Black history, culture and heritage, and positive black contributions to British society.
Portsmouth Gospel Choir
See the 2020 programme

Festival of Culture

Our Festival of Culture takes place annually during Global Week in March. It's an opportunity for staff, students and the public to discover food, languages, fashion and dance from around the world.
Dancers at Global Week 2019
See the 2020 programme

The untold stories of Black lives in Portsmouth

We've partnered with Portsmouth City Museum, Portsmouth History Centre, Portsmouth Black Lives Matter, Portsmouth Educational Partnership, the Thinking Academy Trust and the National Museum of the Royal Navy to consolidate and enrich our knowledge about Portsmouth’s Black history.
Headshot of Lindy Delapenha
Discover untold stories

Official policies and objectives

Explore policies and objectives that relate to race equality at Portsmouth. Can't find what you're looking for? Search all our policies and standards or contact our Equality and Diversity team at

Requirements of our organisation, staff and students in delivering our commitment to equality and diversity.

Equality and Diversity Policy Statement

All areas of the University have their part in taking forward these objectives and supporting the proposed outcomes.

Equality Objectives

Our dedication to the inclusion of all students and staff, including those of faith and non-faith, in an environment where the cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs of all are respected.

Religion and belief policy

Our commitment to delivering a working and learning environment of dignity and respect, free from harassment and bullying.

Dignity and Respect Policy
Chris Chang; UEB Photoshoot; 17th November 2017

The University is committed as an organisation to tackling race inequality for both our students and staff through, for example, our work within the Race Equality Charter and Student Access and Participation Plan.

Chris Chang, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement

Related news

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University receives Race Equality Charter award

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University receives Race Equality Charter award
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Race bias can be tackled through sustained effort

15 October 2020

Race bias can be tackled through sustained effort
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University joins police hate crime reporting network

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See all related news on race equality at the University.