Structure and governance
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.
Find out more about our events, partnerships with like-minded networks, and resources and support for wider participation and action towards race equality.
Promoting race equality as an employer
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.
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.
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.
Promoting race equality for our students
BAME 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.
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.
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.
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.
Race equality support and resources
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.