On Monday 30th November, Lord Sheikh delivered the keynote address at the Westminster Higher Education Forum’s virtual event ‘Addressing racial discrimination and improving the ethnic minority experience in Higher Education’.
Lord Sheikh drew on his experience as a university lecturer to highlight the importance of equal access to eduction. Referring to findings from last years Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, he outlined how students and staff from the BAME community have a different experiences of higher education compared to their white counterparts, especially in terms of harassment and racist behaviour. This has an impact on student’s mental health and their levels of attainment.
Lord Sheikh discussed efforts that have been made by Universities UK to improve how complaints of racism are dealt with and how the admission process could be improved. He welcomed plans from Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, to create a post-qualifications admission system which would be more inclusive and improve diversity in higher education.