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Push to link cash to equality

Universities and senior staff who fail to deal with long-standing racial inequalities in student performance and staffing should pay a financial penalty, two leading figures in higher education have said.

In the past year the poor records of many institutions in admitting black and minority ethnic students and hiring BME staff have rarely been out of the spotlight. Valerie Amos, Labour peer and director of Soas, University of London, used the University of Cambridge’s annual race equality lecture on 23 October to up the ante, warning that universities have become “incredibly complacent”.

According to Higher Education Statistics Agency data from 2016-17, 80 per cent of white students received a first or a 2:1 compared with 66 per cent of BME students. The same data show that of the UK’s 18,950 professors, 17,130 were white and just 115 were black.

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