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Universities must improve race equality in research, study finds

A perception that universities are “white majority institutions” that fail to address race equality problems is making it more difficult for them to form research partnerships with cultural organisations from black and minority ethnic communities, it has been claimed.

A report published today by the University of Bristol and the Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities Programme says that because research partnerships “tend to emerge from existing social and institutional networks which exclude communities without strong social and cultural links into or paths to access individuals within universities”, organisations from BME communities can sometimes be excluded.

Using data gathered during the two-year Common Cause Research project, the report’s authors say that universities are sometimes perceived as lacking openness and are resistant to diverse ideas from outside their institutions. “Academic research is only as good as the information that goes in, which is why this Common Cause project is so important,” Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust, which was involved in the project, said in a statement.

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