ARU signs landmark pledge to prevent racial bias

Published: 12 October 2023 at 13:00

Signing of the UNISON Anti-Racism Charter

Anglia Ruskin University becomes the first UK university to sign Anti-Racism Charter

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has become the first university in the country to sign a landmark pledge against racism at a ceremony in Cambridge.

UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter commits ARU and its leaders to a range of pledges designed to prevent racial bias.

It includes championing a racially diverse workforce, having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives and providing equality training for all staff.

Deputy Vice Chancellor at ARU, Professor Aletta Norval, signed the charter during a celebration of Black History Month and UNISON’s Year of Black Workers on the university’s Cambridge campus.

ARU will also be expected to report on ethnicity pay gaps and monitor disciplinary and grievance processes to ensure outcomes are fair.

Professor Norval said:

“ARU is committed to celebrating diversity and promoting equality and inclusion for our students and staff.

“However, we can always do more, so it is an honour for ARU to become the first UK university to sign up to the Anti-Racism Charter, which builds on our achievement of a Bronze Race Equality Charter mark from Advance HE earlier this year.”

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Daphne Lewis said:

“ARU should be praised for becoming the first university to sign up to the Anti-Racism Charter and commit to actively combatting racism. 

“This isn’t just a step forward for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff — all staff benefit from fairer workplaces. And when university staff are happier, students will be better off as well.

“ARU is setting an example across higher education.”