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Anti –Racism at the University of Exeter

Work to develop our Anti-Racist approach has been progressing this month and we continue to be grateful for the time and input of our student community as we co-create our action plan.  In today’s update we talk about discussions with the Unlearn Collective, African Caribbean Society and Legion Dance Society; we share details about the first BME Network and Provost Commission ‘Let’s Talk’ session focussed on the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Award Gap, and we share some links to key anti-racist reading that you can access through the University Library.  A full update can be found here. 

For more details about any of this, or to get involved please contact Lizzie Caughey/Jen Fook Business Managers to the Provost (Job Share) on

Continuing the Conversations

Working with our students on progressing the anti-racism agenda is vitally important, and we are committed to ensuring partnership working and co-creation with our student body creates a more inclusive University than ever before.   Janice Kay, Provost and Linda Peka, VCEG lead for EDI have recently met with representatives of the Unlearn Collective and the Students’ Guild to begin discussion about their recent open letter and the proposals set out within it – discussion topics included decolonising our university, support for student led initiatives and EDI student training. In addition, colleagues from the University’s EDI team and Communications team recently met with a group of students from the African Caribbean and Legion dance societies alongside representatives from the Students’ Guild to discuss how we can work together to create a platform for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and particularly black voices and get our community engaging with the conversation about race and racism. There will be an increased profile of our activity in this area through digital and physical promotion and student-led events in the Autumn term. 


In addition to this, the last month has seen meetings of the University’s Senior Management Group, and the University’s Governing Body Council, discussing the University’s approach to anti-racism. This saw 120 senior managers across the University discussing and developing actions in support of the University’s anti-racist approach. The session was led by Tina Verhaeghe, co-founder of the University’s BME Staff, Student and Allies’ network; Janice Kay and Linda Peka.  The meeting included a series of mini workshops across six key themes (below) and we will be using the key actions identified to take forward our anti-racist action plan, in co-creation with our students.

  1. Recruitment, recognition and reward/HR policies and redress
  2. Education, curriculum and success for all
  3. Our values, academic freedom, addressing hate crime and online harms
  4. Community and involvement: Embedding EDI in the Student Experience
  5. Training
  6. Research


BLM Discourse

Students from the University of Exeter’s Legion Dance Society have developed a three part video series, alongside ACS, Feminist Society, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Law, Soul Choir, the student body and alumni which is focussed on Black Lives Matters and systematic racism and can be viewed through YouTube here. They discuss personal experiences, culture and confrontation and society and the law. We would encourage everyone to listen.


BME Network and The Provost Commission present ‘Let’s Talk….’

Last week saw first session of ‘The BME Network and The Provost Commission - Let's Talk’ series, which will be focussed on the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Awarding Gap. This was the first of many themed sessions which will bring together colleagues working in these identified areas with members of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community to discuss progress and actions in these key areas, whilst encouraging open and transparent discussions. We look forward to seeing the progression and outcomes of these exciting sessions throughout the year.


Anti – Racism Reading Lists

The Library have created a set of resources on Black History, viewable here and have added to that an anti-racist reading list compiled by students, viewable here. Anything on these lists which indicates being viewable online is available now as an ebook.