The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, attended a roundtable at King’s today to discuss interventions that can eliminate the attainment gap and allow all students and staff to fulfill their potential. The visit marked the Government’s launch of the second phase of the Race Disparity Audit.
The Race Disparity Audit aims to examine how people of different backgrounds are treated across areas including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system. The first phase of the Race Disparity Audit compiled data to demonstrate the way racial bias creates inequality.
Professor Edward Byrne AC, President and Principal of King’s College London: 'Tackling race disparity outcomes is important and we welcome the Minister’s visit to King’s today. I am proud of the diverse international community we have here at King’s, in 2017/18 49% of our undergraduates were from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds, and we have the fastest growing population of low-income students in the Russell Group.
'Over the past seven years we have significantly reduced the gap between Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and non-BAME students achieving a first or 2.1, from 11.1% in 2011/12 to 3.8% in 2017/18. It is great for our staff and students to have the opportunity to engage with Government at such a high level in a pro-active and meaningful way as at the roundtable this morning. I look forward to working further with Government, partners and communities to build on the work we’re already doing to improve student attainment and staff progression, regardless of an individual’s background.'
The Minister heard from a range of King’s staff, students and student union officers, who passionately described their own experiences at King’s. Members of the university’s community including the Diversity and Inclusion team, and Student Success and Social Mobility team shared their experiences of working at King’s.
The Minster praised King’s commitment to race equality, in particular the announcement that for the first time in its history over half of the 2019/20 undergraduate intake are BAME. After the roundtable, he visited KCLSU to hold further discussions with students.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster David Lidington said:
'I am determined that nobody experiences a worse outcome solely on the grounds of their ethnicity. which is why the Government is making a clear and concerted effort, alongside higher education partners, to tackle these injustices.
'These ethnic disparities in higher education cannot be tackled overnight, but I look forward to seeing meaningful and sustained progress in the higher education sector in the next few years.'