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Race Equality at Cambridge


The University joined the Advance HE's Race Equality Charter in 2016 and received the REC Bronze award in November 2019.

The Race Equality Charter (REC) is a national scheme that provides a framework for higher education institutions to recognise, investigate and challenge barriers to recruitment, progression and retention of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.  

The work on REC and the institutional action plan to address racial inequalities at the University is coordinated by a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Engagement Professor Kamal Munir and the University Race Equality Champions Professor Esra Özyürek and Dr Ali Meghji. 

Key Documents


Speaking about the award, Professor Eilís Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations in 2015-2021, said: “We are encouraged that the University’s work on race and racism has been acknowledged with the Race Equality Charter Bronze award. Applying for the REC award was a complex and difficult journey which invited us to identify and reflect honestly on the impact of structural and other forms of racism on staff and students.

“We know there is work to do. We have developed a three-year action plan to tackle any racialised inequalities and embed an inclusive culture. The award is a step towards ensuring that we have the right processes in place.”

The work on University’s application was driven by the commitment and expertise of a number of people, including the University Race Equality Champions in 2017-2021, Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa and Dr Kamal Munir, who said: “We are delighted that the University of Cambridge has been awarded a bronze REC award. The past few years have seen us continue but also initiate difficult conversations across the university on topics many considered awkward and even unnecessary. Both structural and cultural change take time, and all the work done so far represents just the beginning of this arduous journey to eliminate racism.

“We are clear that this award is not a reward but the recognition that we have serious issues to attend and that we, as a community, are willing to do so. The bronze REC award strengthens our resolve to keep pushing against visible and invisible boundaries that BAME members of the university have to contend with everyday. We are optimistic about the future.”

Speaking on behalf of the Race Equality Network (formerly the BAME Staff Network), former Chair Kusam Leal expressed her optimism that the University is taking race equality seriously both by initiating the conversation about race and through its REC action plan: “The reason for this optimism is that University’s mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The best way to do that is to work toward becoming an organisation that: attracts without barriers the best talent and then retains that talent by being a place where all staff and students flourish regardless of their ethnicity or race.”

If you have any questions about the University's Race Equality Charter application or related work, please email


Priorities for Action