UK universities have no black academics in leadership roles, statistics reveal


Universities in the UK are slammed after new figures reveal there are no black academics in leadership roles

  • Number of black academics in leader roles in the UK is officially zero for 2018/19
  • Universities minister said findings were ‘unacceptable’ and do not represent UK
  • Overall in 2018-19, there were 540 academics working in the top managerial jobs, and of these 475 were white

Universities have been criticised after the number of black academics in leadership positions fell to zero in official figures.

The most recent numbers, covering 2018 to 2019, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal that the number of black academics in leadership positions officially stands at zero.

The year before, 2017 to 2018, the agency’s data recorded five black academics in the most senior roles.

Due to the way the statistics are rounded, there could still be up to two in 2018/19, but the official count stands at zero.

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said: ‘It is unacceptable that the number of black academic staff in senior positions has fallen, as this does not represent our British society. Universities need to make more progress and I urge all vice-chancellors to address the barriers that are holding back black and ethnic minority staff from senior positions.

 

A June 2019 file photo shows Education minister Chris Skidmore on Downing Street. Skidmore today said: ‘It is unacceptable that the number of black academic staff in senior positions has fallen, as this does not represent our British society'

A June 2019 file photo shows Education minister Chris Skidmore on Downing Street. Skidmore today said: ‘It is unacceptable that the number of black academic staff in senior positions has fallen, as this does not represent our British society’

‘A true representation of Britain at the top levels of our universities will support the progression of BME staff, as well as improving students’ experience.’

The latest figures published by the HESA shows the number holding top academic roles has officially dropped to zero.

Overall in 2018-19, there were 540 academics working in the top managerial jobs, and of these 475 were white.

A total of 15 were recorded as coming from an Asian background, five from a mixed background, and a further five from another background.

The ethnicity of the rest was not known.

A general view of the Newcastle University building in Town Moor, Newcastle. Overall in 2018-19, there were 540 academics working in the top managerial jobs, and of these 475 were white

A general view of the Newcastle University building in Town Moor, Newcastle. Overall in 2018-19, there were 540 academics working in the top managerial jobs, and of these 475 were white

The figures also show there were 11,860 people working in non-academic top jobs as managers, directors and senior officials at UK institutions in 2018/19.

Of these, the HESA data officially records 185 were black, 10,510 were white, 410 were Asian, 165 were from a mixed background, 50 were another ethnicity, and the ethnicity of the rest was not known.

HESA’s figures show that overall, there were 217,065 academics working at UK universities in 2018/19.

Of the 199,245 whose ethnicity was known, 83 per cent were from a white background and 10 per cent were Asian, while academics from black, mixed and other backgrounds each made up 2 per cent.

 

 

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