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OfS urged to tackle poor BME progression

The Office for Students should set up a taskforce to deal with the “substantial lack of progress” on black and minority ethnic leadership in universities, an academic has said.

Erica Joslyn, dean of psychology and education at the University of Suffolk, told HE that the OfS had a responsibility to deal with poor BME representation in leadership positions at universities. According to Hesa data from 2016-17, analysed in an Advance HE report, of the UK’s 18,950 professors, 17,130 were white and just 115 were black.

“We need a taskforce in the Office for Students…and that is what universities will respond to, because that office is now the person responsible for the achievements and lack of success or otherwise in the higher education sector,” Joslyn said. “A taskforce to deal with that would be ideal, because they’ve got the data…we’ve got so many media reports of issues where it’s [BME progression] gone wrong and we should be able to identify clearly what needs to happen and where the responsibility stops.”

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