• Friday, August 19, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Report reveals BAME students ‘harassed more than twice’ at Glasgow University

Photo: iStock

By: Pramod Thomas

A NEW report has revealed that half of black, Asian and minority ethnic students (BAME) have experienced racism at the University of Glasgow ‘more than twice’ since beginning their studies.

Following the report, the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli, apologised ‘unreservedly’ to staff and students who have experienced racism on campus, reported The Guardian.

The review, prompted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s 2019 inquiry into racism on UK campuses, has found that one in 20 students reported more than 20 separate incidents of harassment.

More than a quarter of the participants said that university had ‘a serious problem with racism’

According to the equality watchdog’s student survey two years ago, 29 per cent of black students and 27 per cent of Asian students had experienced racial harassment on campus.

Glasgow’s report also found a gap of more than 10 per cent in awarding of degrees to BAME students in comparison with white peers, The Guardian reported.

There was no BAME representation on the senior management group, court and senate, the three major decision-making bodies of the university.

The report also highlighted a reluctance to report such harassment, combined with a fear of reprisals from fellow students and staff.

It also included examples of overt racism, such as one staff member who was called a ‘black bastard’ by a colleague. When they reported the incident to their line manager, they were asked ‘what did you do to make her say that?’

Another staff member described the extreme mental strain of senior management’s indifference to the racism they were experiencing:

According to the report, about 500 students took part in the survey, while in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 ethnic minority staff.

The human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, who stood down as the university’s rector last March, said the report was ‘a damning indictment of the failures of senior management to tackle racism to date’.

“In my three years as rector I raised concerns about the racism and discrimination faced by our students and staff. Yet there was little or no action taken and more often than not my experience was one of abject denial.”

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