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Newcastle University | We Stand With You

Newcastle University | We Stand With You

by Newcastle University

Here at Newcastle University, wvalue individual differences and the diversity that this brings. We want to ensure that our campus is an environment for all to be treated with dignity and respect and that no-one is at a disadvantage because of who they are.

Through dedicated working groups, events and projects across our campus,we aim to create a positive, supportive culture for everyone to reach their potential. Whilst we acknowledge there is still much more that needs to be done, here's how Newcastle University is working hard to tackle racism.

Race Equality Charter (REC)

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As part of the Freedom City legacy, Newcastle University is committed to developing our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work (EDI) in race equality and is a member of the Race Equality Charter (REC).

Advance HE’s the REC provides a framework of five principles which helps institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of staff and students from minority ethnic groups.

The REC runs throughout our university from professional and support staff; academic staff; student progression and attainment and diversifying the curriculum. To be part of the REC, our University needs to commit to adopt these principles within policies, practices, action plans and culture.

Alongside the REC, frequent Race Equality Awareness Workshops support staff to strengthen their understanding of race equality and develop the skills for effective culture change. They introduce participants to key concepts within the field of race equality to improve knowledge and understanding about race and racism within a safe and reflective space.

 

NU Staff BAME Network

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The BAME network is an inclusive, cross-faculty, collective space that serves as a body of support and a platform of institutional engagement for Newcastle University's BAME community.

The network is ran by BAME staff and PGR students, and includes academic and professional services employees and postgraduate research students. Through regular meetings, the network aims to raise awareness of BAME issues including attainment, aspiration, recruitment and career progression at Newcastle University, to enable and support the effective implementation of the Race
Equality Charter (REC), contribute to policy development and to act as a channel for communication, support and guidance. 

If you would like to become a member, please register here or get in touch via bamestaffnetwork@newcastle.ac.uk. 

 

Fighting Hate Crime 

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Dealing with hate crime is an issue that we hear more and more about and as a microcosm of society, the University is not immune to this.

Hate crime behaviours go against Newcastle University’s principles which emphasise treating others with respect and dignity. We work hard to promote an inclusive environment for everyone and provide training, reporting and support services with the aim of preventing hate crime and discrimination within our community.

We want to ensure all our staff and students feel safe and are able to report hate crime. Therefore, we will continue to emphasise the support available at Newcastle University in response to behaviour of this kind. Anyone in our community can:

 

For more information and contacts on reporting hate crime, please visit our dedicated web-page.

 

Students' Union (NUSU)

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Newcastle University's Students' Union is an organisation with inclusivity at the centre of it's core values. As a home from home for our students, NUSU is a place to collaborate and join forces in societies, activities, elections and even campaigns based on wellbeing, sexuality, the environment and race to name a few.

NUSU has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to harassment, discrimination and hate crime, and this absolutely includes racism. If anyone in our student community has experienced harassment because of their race or ethnicity, or witnessed a racist incident on campus, NUSU will want to know. In a case of harassment, students can access NUSU's Report and Support page for information.

When speaking out, NUSU want every part of the student community to be represented and have their voice heard. Therefore, NUSU hold annual elections to find a dedicated team of student officers, including a representative for the BAME student body. If any student encounters an issue related to their race or ethnicity, they can contact the Racial Equality Officer, the Welfare & Equality Officer or access BAME resources and support via NUSU's webpage.

 

 

Introduced for academic year 2019-2020, NUSU also offers the Inclusivity Ambassador Scheme which aims to build supportive networks, create events, drive positive change and promote inclusivity here at Newcastle University. Currently, the project will be supporting BAME students and students from lower income backgrounds but they aim to support other under-represented and minority groups as the project progresses. You can find more on this here.

The union's 160+ societies also help students find like-minded people within organisations based around sport, politics, religion and much more including Stand Up to Racism NCL and the Frederick Douglass Society which both push for reform of the systemic racism.

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Following the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, our Students' Union Welfare and Equality Officer has shared some important resources to support not only caring for yourself as a black student but also how you can be proactively anti-racist as a non-black ally. 

Read more on this here and listen to NUSU's Welfare and Equality Officer's tailored message below.

 

 
Careers Service (START UP)

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Newcastle University Careers Service doesn't just support and guide students into the world of work but also encourages students to work independently and start their own business. With the help of START UP, our dedicated careers advisers grant all Newcastle University students the incredible opportunity to create something completely new, with help at every step of the way.

Whatever your background, START UP's socials, workshops, coaching, peer-learning groups and funding is for everyone in our student community, no matter your race. Here's some examples of BAME student success stories within the START UP programme:

Spareable

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An idea ignited at START UP bootcamp 2017 by Masitano Sichone (MSc Electronic Business & Information Systems), Spareable is an app which enables remote donations to food banks, saving time and food waste. The convenient platform is providing 25% more food by distributing wholesale goods with long expiry dates. Masitano Sichone, originally from Zambia, is a true agent of change and was recently named a Top 100 Changemaker 2020 Defeating Poverty by The Big Issue. With the help of START UP, he is emerging nationally as one of the most impressive social entrepreneurs to watch.

Beauty of Rwanda

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Founded by Salha Kaitesi (BA Politics &Sociology), Beauty of Rwanda offers ethical and sustainable handcrafted accessories & home décor made in Rwanda. All products are bought from women-led cooperatives based in the capital city Kigali and other parts of Rwanda with the aim of making a real difference in the lives of this marginalised group. Salha was recently nominated in the Positive Role Model (Gender) category for the National Diversity Awards 2020 and is truly empowering Rwandese women and girls. Read more here.

GOZI Haircare

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Through START UP, Ngozi Ossai (BSc Biomedical Sciences) researched, set up and launched GOZI Haircare, a company dedicated to providing non- toxic, natural and vegan friendly products suitable for tightly curled hair-types such as the 4C hairtype. After a successful UK launch and winning the 2018 Newcastle University Pride Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise, Ngozi’s plans are to take the brand international.

To learn more START UP success stories, read here.

 

NCL Alumni Network

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Newcastle University has a proud tradition of graduates who achieve greatness in their chosen fields. From social leaders, innovators of industry and famous faces from all backgrounds, Newcastle University alumni are making their mark across the globe. Here are just a handful of our inspirational black and BAME alumni whom we are incredibly proud of; 

  • Funke Abimbola MBA; multi-award winning solicitor, business leader, public speaker, TV contributor, diversity campaigner, patron and board member (LLB 1994)
  • Damian Johnson; face and voice of football on BBC Television (BA Combined Studies 1984)
  • Joy Labinjo; artist and the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Woon Art Prize (BA Fine Art 2017)
  • Dr Adetokunbo (Ade) Lucas O.F.R; global health leader for Africa (MBBS 1956, MD 1964, Hons DSc 2000) 
  • Dr Ali Mohamed Shein; 7th President of Zanzibar (PhD Clinical Biochemistry and Metabolic Medicine 1989)

This list is not exhaustive and if you know of somebody who you think should be included, please get in touch via advancement@ncl.ac.uk.

 

PARTNERS Scheme

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Our support for black and minority students also predates their time here with us at Newcastle University. If students attend a state school or college in the United Kingdom and are from a black or minority ethnic group, then they are immediately eligible for our PARTNERS programme

PARTNERS is a summer school programme designed for year 13 students and ran in the summer before a new academic year. This experience combines both the academic and social experience of university allowing successful applicants to explore and learn on our campus, meet course friends and lecturers, access university services early (i.e. our libraries, IT service and Students' Union) and receive a lower conditional offer to study with us (up to three grades lower).

PARTNERS students are also eligible for specialist ongoing support throughout both their application and future at Newcastle University and could also qualify for financial support in the form of bursaries and scholarships.

 

 

For more information on PARTNERS and it's commitment to supporting students into Higher Education here.

 

Scholarships

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Alongside our PARTNERS entry route, we also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries specifically designed for students from minority backgrounds. Our Excellence Scholarships promise that 15 students from countries like Kenya, India, Malaysia will be awarded 50% or 100% of their tuition fees. Our Sanctuary Scholarships are also designed to support students specifically from refugee backgrounds, awarding full tuition fees and living expenses paid for three students that academic year.

 

The Future

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As our Deputy Vice-Chancellor has shared in the university's institutional and follow-up statements regarding the #BLM movement, we at Newcastle University are not sticking our head in the sand. We know and recognise that there are issues, structural and behavioural, to deal with here. Alongside continuing the initiatives listed above, we must and will call out inappropriate behaviours and strive to drive positive change.

We are a University that has taken pride in putting social justice at the heart of its mission, vision and strategy and that has paid attention to a long history of social justice campaigning here in the North East. Neither the statue of Dr Martin Luther King Jr that stands outside the Kings Hall, and which openly speaks out against poverty, war and racism just as MLK did in his remarkable 1967 honorary degree acceptance speech, nor the Frederick Douglass Centre, are tokenistic gestures. They are very public statements of genuine intent, learning and commitment to make a better future for us all.

George Floyd’s death has brought into sharp focus yet again the issues of inequality and racism which still exist globally and at Newcastle, we acknowledge there is still much more that needs to be done to achieve lasting and positive change.

 

 

In response, our Deputy Vice Chancellor has presented an update on the Race Equality Charter (REC) work to our University Council. As a result of the detailed work we have been doing, we have a good sense of the key themes and issues that we will focus on:

  • Diversifying student recruitment and ensuring support for all students to succeed and progress both during and after university.
  • Addressing the awarding gap (this work is informed by our Office for Students Access and Participation Plan but as importantly by our wider Inclusive Newcastle project in which students are helping to shape the future).
  • Decolonizing the curriculum - looking at what and how we teach and diversifying the classroom and the wider student experience with the help of our History, Classics and Archaeology department. 
  • Colleague recruitment processes, approaches and outcomes
  • Career progression and structures of support.
  • Ensuring we open up the world of academia to as diverse a group of colleagues as possible – i.e. scholarships and bursaries for students.

We are committed to progressing this agenda together and we will, as part of our Race Equality Charter work, agree on an action plan for the year ahead.

 

Imtiaz Dharker 1

Finally, a statement from our Chancellor, Imtiaz Dharker;

"One of the reasons I accepted the Chancellorship was the certainty that Black Lives do Matter at Newcastle University; and that every effort would be made to foster the aspirations of students and staff whatever their race. 
There is undoubtedly more to be done, but I am assured that measures are under way to ensure the University is able to safeguard equality and diversity and achieve change.
I am proud that the statue outside Kings Hall is of Dr Martin Luther King Junior and hope we can all do everything possible to honour his dreams."

 

We understand this is a very difficult time for our students and colleagues and together with our Students’ Union, we would like to highlight the ongoing support available, both from the Students’ Union and the University.

We are listening and we are doing our best to bring about important changes.

 

Learn more about our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion