Race equality report: section C - Update on the University’s Race Equality Policy and objectives as set out within the Race Equality Action plan

Feedback against REP action plan: Tables six and seven highlight the actions committed to in Brookes’ Race Equality Policy and details progress against targets.

Table six – progress against REP action plan - Staff

Action Item as summarised from the Race Equality Policy Progress to date
Information and awareness sessions on RR(A)A for all staff

Awareness sessions have commenced as part of the wider EOD staff development programme. Equal Opportunities has been incorporated into core elements of the University’s staff development programmes such as Team Leaders training, Introduction day etc. Recruitment & Selection training (compulsory for those who sit on recruitment panels) has been completely overhauled to more fully focus on EOD issues. New sessions commencing September 2003.

A wider programme of EOD staff development has been drawn up; subject to discussions with School/Directorate based EOD co-ordinators, a University wide programme is due to commence early 2004. Progress ongoing

Review of current methods for advertising vacancies Brookes sends details of its vacancies to a London based recruitment agency that specialises in the placement of people from an ethnic minority background. A pilot work experience initiative will commence in September 2003 (see ‘Strengthening Community Links’ which also seeks to increase the range of applications from people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Additional activities are planned for 2004 to raise applications from the local ethnic minority community as part of the ‘Brookes Bridges’ campaign.
Employee Induction will be modified to include an introduction to Brookes’ EO policies and to the wider legislative framework Introduction Day has been modified and now includes a section on Brookes EO policies and the wider legislative framework
Management training will include modules on race equality issues Team Leader course, Associate teacher courses, Core Management and Leadership programme (CMLP) all now include modules on equal opportunities, with race equality as a particular element within the module. Progress ongoing.
Employee Publications will be reviewed and translations provided where it is identified that an alternative language version would assist equal access to information and guidance Members of the ‘Strengthening Community Links’ forum have been consulted on whether alternative language versions of key documents (such as the race equality policy and action plan) would be of value. Consultation ongoing.
Brookes will consider whether there are opportunities for using the positive action and training provisions of the RR(A)A Consideration of the training provisions of the RR(A)A led to development of ‘Brookes Bridges’ initiatives. See below for more details
All members of recruitment panels will be trained in EOD law and in non discriminatory interview techniques See ‘Information and Awareness Sessions’ above for more details. Revamped programme to commence September 2003 and ongoing
Progress against the targets for ethnic minority employment as set out in the HR strategy will be analysed and passed for review and action to the Board of Governors & Senior Management Team Regular EOD updates and statistics feedback to Employment Committee and Board of Governors. Progress ongoing
The recognised unions, staff and students will be consulted about revisions to the Race Equality Policy All at Brookes invited to contribute to future developments of the Race Equality Policy in May 2003. Feedback form incorporated onto new EOD website for Brookes. Members of ‘Strengthening Community Links’ forum asked for feedback and contributions to future revisions. Consultation ongoing.
All Schools/Directorates to review the race equality implications of their work in their own departmental policy statements Reviews possible from October 2003 onwards following the secondment of School/Directorate based EOD coordinators
Monitoring of staff data See pages 5 to 8. Progress against targets ongoing.

Table seven - progress against REP action plan - Students

Action item as summarised from the Race Equality Policy Progress to date
Monitoring of student data – to implement a system for recording the factors taken into account in making offers to, or rejecting, applicants. The rationale for making individual decisions on admissions will be recorded from September 2004. The Head of Admissions will shortly be introducing appropriate systems to allow reasons for decisions whether they be offers, conditional or unconditional, or rejections, to be recorded for each applicant.
Review arrangements for the monitoring of admissions, student progression and achievement by ethnic origin The University currently provides statistical information at school and course level in preparation for annual review. The retrieval, formatting and analysis of statistics at university level is due to be considered under the BPR project from November 2003. The arrangements for monitoring will be considered by the Human Resources and ASA directorates
Establish arrangements for publishing annually results of the University’s monitoring of admissions, progression and achievement The introduction of appropriate arrangements for publishing the results of the University’s monitoring of admissions, progression and achievement will be addressed alongside developments in management information arising from BPR.
Report to Academic Board results of monitoring admissions, student progressions and achievement and reported incidents of complaints leading to racial harassment, discrimination or misconduct. Full results and analysis will be presented to the Board of Governors and Academic Board following completion of the tasks above.
To set a review a target for the percentage of the total student body from ethnic minority backgrounds. A minimum target with reference to HEFCE benchmarks has been set in the context of the University’s widening participation strategy.

The university has set itself a target of increasing ethnic minority enrolments to the university. In order to achieve this a number of initiatives are being developed:

  • The appointment of two ethnic minority outreach workers who will liase with local FE colleges, schools and community groups to work to improve participation from a wider range of students within the local community. They will do this via discussion, direct involvement and research.
  • The ‘GO’ (guaranteed offer scheme) for students with potential from local schools

 

Other action taken

Table eight highlights other actions taken as part of the University’s commitment to both the specific and general duties under the RR(A)A.

Table eight – other action taken

‘Strengthening Community Links’ scheme

Aeries of meetings and initiatives to strengthen Brookes’ links with the local community and put the University’s commitment to racial equality for all into practice. The meetings are part of an initiative aiming to encourage greater participation in the life of the University, and bring together key Brookes staff with leaders of various ethnic minority community groups in East Oxford.

Actions arising from ‘Strengthening Community Links’ scheme include:

  • Making contacts with Oxford’s Ethnic Minority Business Service (including visit to the service by the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor in May 2003). Seeking to promote links and to explore possible progression pathways
  • Consultation on Brookes’ Race Equality Policy – leaders of various ethnic minority community groups invited to respond and feedback on the University’s policy
  • Exploring options of holding employment ‘workshops’ within the local community to equip and encourage under-represented racial groups to consider Brookes as a place to work
  • Development of progression pathways for students into higher education – the following options are currently being explored through the Learning Partnerships Team:
  • Carers advice and working with those with special needs
  • Language courses for non English speakers wishing to enter HE
  • Access provision for disaffected young people and young mothers
  • Development of ‘taster’ sessions to target specific groups

Brookes Bridges Work Experience Scheme

A pilot activity involving a partnership between the University and Oxford & Cherwell College of Further Education as a way of extending Brookes’ employment opportunities to the local community in Oxford (with particular encouragement to people of under-represented groups to take part). The scheme sets out to give a realistic and relevant experience of the workplace to students who are currently completing NVQs at Oxford & Cherwell College, so that they can build a valuable track record in the workplace and better compete for employment opportunities. The scheme aims to give a minimum four month commitment to individuals in order that they can develop in their job roles, accrue a solid track record and work towards meeting the evidential requirements of their NVQs within a stable working environment. In addition to this, Brookes is opening up the training opportunities that are usually restricted to staff employed at the University to the participants on the scheme. The pilot scheme commenced in autumn 2003.

Exploring the option of holding staff focus groups to consider actions that can be taken to ensure that Brookes’ workforce is representative of all groups and the University’s student base. This will involve an external facilitator from the Equality Challenge Unit.

Joint appointment with Oxford College of Further Education of two part-time Ethnic Minority Outreach Workers to work with representatives of voluntary/community groups and training organisations in Oxford to develop progression pathways into further and higher education

This report is divided into the following sections

  1. Update on EOD strategy and progress against key objectives
  2. Monitoring results
  3. Update on the University’s race equality policy and objectives as set out within the race equality action plan
  4. Summary
Equal opportunities and diversity