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Recent analysis by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) shows that ‘Black graduates end up with notably worse economic outcomes than white classmates who entered university with similar qualifications and backgrounds’.

19th March 2021

Commenting on the report, Solent University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Nona McDuff – who is chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (2012-present), a member of the UUK Advisory panel on racial harassment and a member of the Advance HE Peer Review Advisory Panel – says:

“For too long the Black awarding gap has been ignored or addressed through approaches that focus on ‘fixing’ the student and which perpetuates the student deficit model.

“At Solent University we are adopting an institutional approach to closing the gap and improving the employment outcomes of Black students which we are pleased to say have resulted in year on year improvements.

“We have been bold in our ambitions on social mobility through an institutional plan that a) improves institutional processes, b) enhances the knowledge and skills of our staff and c) better supports our Black students.

“We recognise that change requires having conversations about race, racism and the academy, the need to be honest about the actions we need to take and to follow through on these with pace.

“Our work includes:

  • the use of value-added data to shine a light on areas where we need to improve course outcomes
  • the embedding of the Inclusive Curriculum Framework to ensure we create a conceptually and physically accessible curriculum, where Black students can see themselves reflected in the learning and teaching, and where all students are prepared to contribute positively to a global and diverse environment
  • a recruitment plan so black students see role models in their teaching and research staff
  • partnership work with students and our Student Union to better support black students
  • an application to the Race Charter Mark award which systematically takes us through the data, its analysis, right through to the creation of a SMART action plan.

“We are ambitious and know there is a long way to go but led by our Vice-Chancellor and senior team at the University, our plan is designed to get us there. Our Black students deserve no less than a whole institutional effort.

More information about Nona McDuff and her work can be found here.