Review of Racial Equality and Anti-Semitism Summary Report (Nov 22)
A student complaint was made in March 2022 in relation to a racist and anti-Semitic incident that took place between UCLan students in 2020.
The details of this incident and an image were posted by the complainants on social media in June 2022, whilst the complaints were being investigated under the formal university processes. The fact that the social media posts were made whilst the investigation was ongoing made it difficult for the University to speak openly due to the confidentialities involved.
This resulted in considerable national and social media interest and coverage, and following the incident, the University decided to initiate an Institutional Review (adopting an anti-discriminatory framework) to learn lessons and make improvements. The Review was conducted between August and November 2022 by University colleagues across a broad spectrum of services and included an External Review by AUA Consulting of the University complaints process.
In the spirit of openness and transparency we are sharing the findings of the Review.
Summary of Key Recommendations
The main findings of the Review recommended that the University should take steps to:
- Review how we manage our complaints process including more regular communication with complainants and escalation of complaints when required.
- Develop and implement a more robust and thoughtful approach to supporting staff and students in relation to allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- Broaden the pool and diversity of staff involved in staff and student complaints, grievances and disciplinaries and to ensure that all are provided with anti-discriminatory training.
- Review resources available to accelerate investigations of student complaints and disciplinary processes.
- Gather further evidence of the extent to which anti-Semitism is present at our University.
- Establish institutional protocols for internal and external communication when dealing with critical cases including the disclosure of information pertaining to staff/student complaints by drawing upon recent UUK Guidance.
- Ensure that a package of anti-racism training is introduced to staff as part of the Equality Diversity and Inclusion development plan.
- Strengthen academic quality processes, protocols, resources and approaches to staff development to further embed anti-racist approaches in the curriculum.
- Update and relaunch the university recruitment and selection processes ensuring the engagement of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team and Black, Asian and ethnically diverse colleagues.
- Review and improve the protocols for the management of critical incidents (including leadership, communication, delegation of responsibility and accountability).
- Review University policies using the newly developed University anti-racist framework.
Work is ongoing to ensure that the recommendations from this Review are now implemented as soon as possible. The University of Central Lancashire is committed to supporting staff and students who experience racism and encourages the use of Report and Support to report incidents and get help if needed, including access to mental health and wellbeing support. The action plan delivery will be led by the Race Equality Charter Mark Self-Assessment team and progress will be monitored by the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.