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Race equality progress report, 2003: Notice

1. Introduction

This report is made following the first anniversary of the appointment of the Equal Opportunities Officer and the implementation date for the Race Relations (Amendment) Act (RR(A)A) (31 May 2002). During 2002-03 a number of steps have been taken to develop and implement the University's race equality function and in particular the development, consultation, and publication of a race equality policy and action plan. This has been scrutinized by the HEFCE and judged to be an exemplar of good practice at this stage of the process. The Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a policy for race equality (Reporter, 2002-03, p. 923) was the subject of Discussion by the Regent House and was approved in August 2003.

2. Race equality

2.1 The Equal Opportunities (EO) Officer is undertaking a programme of visits to every Head of institution and to institutional administrators in order to give information and consult on issues and queries, with particular emphasis on raising awareness about the requirements of the race equality duty under the RR(A)A. About 40% of visits have been made and they are expected to take until early 2004 to complete. There is clearly expressed support for the Equality and Diversity (E&D) function with an impetus at departmental level. There is a consensus on subsidiarity for the E&D function, including giving special responsibility for E&D to designated individuals at School/Faculty/Department level (as appropriate), at least as a transitional step in achieving subsidiarity.

2.2 Discussions have also centred on recruitment monitoring and the use of Personnel Division devised software, which facilitates this.

2.3 Development of management information

An additional verification survey was undertaken in April/May 2003 to bring information on ethnicity up to date for those classified as White. This was needed because the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has adopted the Census 2001 ethnicity categories, as amended by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), which subdivides White into White British, White Irish, and White Other. The exercise has been of only limited success and has evoked a number of very negative responses. There is a need to attempt again to convey the messages that the University has no control over HESA categories and the importance of having accurate ethnicity data for the purposes of monitoring under the RR(A)A. A second data verification exercise will take place in the Michaelmas Term 2003 because the latest requirement from HESA covers returns on all staff categories, not just academic and academic-related.

2.4 Data collection for race: application and shortlist stage

The targets were:

2.5 Data analysis

A data working group has been set up and is considering data collection and analysis, especially in relation to occupational hierarchies and promotion.

2.6 Satisfaction surveys

It is proposed to carry out a race equality audit for staff, under the guidance of the Race Equality Advisory Group in 2004.

2.7 Recruitment and employment: guidance and training

There have been 106 participants at seven Fair Recruitment sessions held since January 2003, with two further sessions scheduled for this academical year. The evaluations from the sessions are positive; they are considered 'very useful'.

3. Race equality infrastructure

Under the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan (REPAP) the University has agreed to set up Race Equality Advisory Groups (staff and students) and the University Council's Race Equality Working Group which makes up the consultation framework for the REPAP. The framework comprises:

4. Race equality action plan (REAP)1

Progress on the REAP is charted below:

Summary list of action points to August 2003

No.Action pointsBody responsibleProposed implementation dateProgress
A1* The University complies with the general and specific duties arising from the RR(A)A Council An on-going process  
A2* The race equality policy and action plan is implemented, monitored, evaluated, and continuously reviewed according to the specific duties under the RR(A)A Council An on-going process  
A3 All staff are provided with appropriate training and guidance Council - refer to Staff Development Committee Race awareness training commissioned Begins Autumn 2003
A4 Appropriate procedures are implemented to enable all those responsible under the RR(A)A to acknowledge their roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities Council Guidance issued Autumn 2003
A5* A Pro-Vice-Chancellor designated by the Council will have lead responsibility for racial equality under the requirements of the general duty of the RR(A)A Council January 2004  
A6* Appropriate action is taken if staff or students are found to have acted in any way in a racially discriminatory manner, wittingly or unwittingly Council and General Board    
A7* The Council and the General Board will agree with the Colleges the way in which they will work in partnership to fulfil the requirements of the RR(A)A in all the relevant functions carried out by the Colleges on behalf of or in partnership with the University Council, General Board, Colleges' Committee, Senior Tutors' Committee    
A8 The Race Equality Action Policy and Action Plan will be published as part of a wide consultation procedure, in advance of formal approval of a final version in the form of a Report to the University Council and General Board 31 January 2003 Completed
A9 The Equal Opportunities Officer will convene an informal consultative staff group by 30 September 2002 EO Officer 12 September 2002 Completed
A10* The Student Matters Committee, the Education Committee, CUSU, and the Senior Tutors' Committee will convene the Student Race Equality Advisory Group in the Michaelmas Term 2003 Student Matters Committee, Education Committee, Senior Tutors' Committee Michaelmas Term 2003  
A11* The Student Matters Committee, the Education Committee, and the Senior Tutors' Committee will arrange to meet GEEMA and the Young Black and Asian Achievers Group in the Michaelmas Term 2003 Student Matters Committee, the Education Committee, CUSU, Senior Tutors' Committee Michaelmas Term 2003  
A12 The Secretary of the UAJB will arrange for the Joint Board to comment on the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan at their next regular meeting Secretary, UAJB 17 June 2003  
A13 The policy and action plan will be reviewed in full no later than 31 May 2005 Council and General Board 31 May 2005  
A14 Each functional area (see Annex 1 to the REAP) will:
  • Designate one individual to take responsibility for ensuring that the University's race equality policy and action plan are fulfilled with respect to the functional area. This will usually be the chair of the relevant body or committee, or the Head of the institution or office concerned
  • Ensure that all members of the body or committee, or individual staff are aware of the requirements of the University's race equality policy and action plan
  • Draw up a comprehensive list of relevant policies, procedures, and practices
  • Identify any gaps in monitoring data which will inhibit impact assessment and inform UAS of any monitoring requirements
  • Subject their policies, procedures, and practices to the questions laid out in Section 3 of the REAP
Responsible bodies An on-going process  
A15 Following the policy impact assessment each functional area will draw up an action plan for any policy, procedure, or practice in which results of the impact assessment demonstrate or suggest that there are differences in treatment or outcomes for staff or students from different racial groups As for A14   To follow approval of Joint Report
A16 The Personnel Division will continue to undertake centralized monitoring for ethnicity through appointments data and data verification exercises. The Division will set targets for achieving a 100% response rate on ethnicity through the data verification exercises Personnel Division   On-going, see Section 2.4 above
A17 The Personnel Division will provide methodologies and procedures for institutions to collect ethnicity data on job applications and other staff employment stages, e.g. promotion, and procedures, e.g. discipline and grievance Personnel Division   Procedures and mechanisms in place for recruitment and appointment
A18 The Cambridge Admissions Office will undertake centralized monitoring for ethnicity of students for admission and examination purposes CAO, Student Records    
A19 The Race Equality Policy and Action Plan will be published as a Report to the University in the Easter Term 2003 Council and General Board Easter Term 2003 Completed
A20 There will be an annual progress report, summarizing the implementation and review of the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan, approved by the Council and the General Board and published in Reporter EO Officer, [Student Affairs Equality Officer], Council, and General Board   To follow approval of Joint Report
A21 The Personnel Division, the Academic Division, and the Press Office will draw up a communications strategy for the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan Personnel Division, Academic Division, Press Office   To follow approval of Joint Report
A22 The Web Editor will ensure effective linking between all relevant policies on the University's Web pages Web Editor   Completed
A23 Supported by the necessary resources, the Personnel Division/Staff Development Section will provide a rolling programme of race awareness and other relevant training for all staff Personnel Division, Staff Development Section   See A3 above
A24 The Vice-Chancellor will include a commitment to the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan in his October 2002 address Vice-Chancellor 1 October 2002 Completed
A25* The Council will include on its agenda an item each term, reporting on the Race Equality Policy and Action Plan Council, Registrary    
A26 The Personnel Division will produce advice on positive action on advertising for use by institutions in recruitment Personnel Division   Approved
A27 The Staff Development Section will investigate training for specific target groups where monitoring and benchmarking reveals evidence of under-represented racial groups Staff Development Section As necessary  
A28 The Personnel Division will organize a 'Positive Action' event in the Michaelmas Term to publicize, promote, and celebrate the many initiatives in equality already being undertaken in the University Personnel Division et al 19 November 2002 Completed
A29 The Harassment Advisers Network will be set up by the Personnel Division, with appropriate support and training Personnel Division   Underway
A30 The Personnel Division, through the Harassment Advisers Network, will establish systems to monitor the prevalence of racial harassment Personnel Division   To follow approval of Joint Report
A31 Guidance on dealing with racist incidents, and a system for reporting such incidents, will be provided by the Personnel Division Personnel Division    
A32 The Council will set up a joint Working Group on Race Equality Personnel Division and Education Section Lent Term 2003 Awaiting approval of Joint Report

1 The full race equality action plan (REAP) was published in Reporter, 2002-03, p. 924 (http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2002-03/weekly/5924/15.html). It is also available as a PDF document on the Personnel Division's website (http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/personnel/policy/race/race_equality.pdf).


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Cambridge University Reporter 28 April 2004
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