Rose Bruford College must both listen and lead in the current conversations about addressing racism, supporting our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students, staff and alumni, and enabling learning and working spaces with true equality and inclusion at their heart.
We all need to do much more to respond to the lack of diversity within Rose Bruford College and the creative industries. We know that this imbalance excludes viewpoints, disenfranchises talented practitioners and deepens societal divisions. By responding to these challenges appropriately, we can make a difference by showing students that they can have a future within the creative industries no matter who they are.
For the past two years we have been working on a plan that looks at the full scope of equality, diversity, access and inclusion within Rose Bruford College – and thus the plan includes other students who have been historically marginalised in Higher Education and in the Arts.
We have made some gains on the plan in the last eighteen months, on which we will build with continued commitment:
- Established recruitment initiatives to increase representation from the BAME communities in the College student cohort.
- Increased BAME representation within the permanent academic and professional staff, including the senior management and academic teams.
- Brought in increased numbers of BAME Visiting Lecturers across our degree programmes.
- Marked Black History Month with an exhibition celebrating our BAME alumni and a discussion event.
- Launched a new degree programme, Theatre and Social Change, which is accepting its first students in 2020/21. While the responsibility for social justice and equality is shared amongst all programmes, the new Theatre & Social Change BA (Hons) programme has producing, activating and advocacy as part of its coursework.
- We have begun in depth reviews of our Student Support and Student Engagement operations which will inform our interaction with BAME and other students moving forward.
We will continue to work with our students, our staff, and alumni to ensure that the process is respectful of a multitude of voices and work patterns. In order for change to be truly seen, it must be sustainably provisioned and planned. We encourage all of our students to activate their voices via the Students’ Union or to be in touch directly with our Head of Student Experience, or with me as Principal if, and how, they think we can do better.
The highlights of our plan moving forward and addressing institutional bias and racism include:
- Working towards a target of 35% of our permanent workforce coming from BAME communities by 2024/25.
- Working towards a target of a minimum of 25% BAME students in the College community by 2024/25.
- All staff to receive annual race equity/unconscious bias training which will include an assessment of, and training around, the inclusivity of our pedagogy.
- An assessment of academic programmes and necessary revisions to ensure inclusivity and to seek to decolonise the curriculum. This exercise will address what is taught and how it is taught and include specific annual commissioning of new work where appropriate.
- Initiate appropriate support for BAME students – including diverse support staff who would be sympathetic to a range of student experiences.
We have set up timescales and methodologies to ensure that we are accountable to students, staff and alumni who care about these issues.
If you have any questions about the statement above or would like to engage with the plans and commitment outlined above, please email [email protected]
Bruford Voices and Reflections