LEEDS Trinity University is the first in Yorkshire to receive the Race Equality Charter Bronze award.

The award recognises the university’s commitment to improving the representation, progression and success of black, Asian and minority ethnic students and staff.

Leeds Trinity achieved the bronze award after embarking on a programme to achieve race equality, establishing an internal REC self-assessment team and developing an action plan to promote inclusion.

Initiatives include the launch of staff equality networks for BAME and international staff, and investment in PhD studentships looking at widening access for BAME students. Re:Tension, a film by Leeds Trinity academic Ricardo Barker has been shared with other universities, along with a toolkit to discuss institutional racism, unconscious bias and the impact this can have on retention and attainment for BAME students in higher education.

In the last 24 months, Leeds Trinity has reformed its recruitment processes to ensure greater objectivity and has increased the proportion of BAME staff from 4.7 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

Professor Charles Egbu said: “In my first few weeks as Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity, I’ve seen first-hand how the University’s community approach provides an open and welcoming environment for all, whatever their background or belief.

“I’m delighted that the action colleagues have taken to improve the representation, progression and success of BAME students and staff at our institution has been recognised with the Race Equality Charter Bronze award. I would like to thank all staff and students who engaged with the process.

“This work does not stop now. More staff and students than ever before are talking about race inequality within higher education. I am committed to ensuring we hold ourselves accountable for the progress we still need to make within our University.”

Professor John Leach, chairman of the university’s REC self-assessment team committee, said: “Leeds Trinity is committed to promoting inclusion and I am very proud of the progress we have made as a University to drive change, embed practices within learning and teaching, and better understand the issues faced by BAME staff and students. The Race Equality Charter Bronze award is great recognition of this, but we know we have much more work to do.”

Shames Maskeen, graduate teaching assistant, PhD student and operational lead for the Race Equality Charter, added: “Leeds Trinity University’s commitment to eliminating racial inequality and achievement of the REC Bronze award sends a very clear message that staff and students of all backgrounds are welcome here and that our University will not tolerate racism in any form.”