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SOAS professors lead UK for ethnic diversity

SOAS Aerial View

4 February 2013

A report from the University and College Union (UCU) shows that SOAS is the number one UK university institution for the ethnic diversity of its professors.

The figures, taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) staff record for 2010/11, show that the proportion of SOAS professors from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds is four times the national average.

Almost a third (29.2%) of SOAS professors is from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds against a national average of 7.3%. Second in the league is the University of Bedfordshire (26.9%), with Brunel University coming third (23%).

SOAS also performs better than average on gender: 25.3% of the School’s professors are women, against a national average of 19.8%.

Paul Webley said: “The diversity of the SOAS community is one of its greatest strengths and it is good to see these figures. Now we just have to ensure that we get to the top of the tables for the proportion of women professors.”

Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Gender Studies and President of SOAS UCU, said: “SOAS has come a long way since I was a PhD student here in the mid-1990s. We are working to increase the representation of BME and female staff in decision-making posts and to lower the number of short term and casual contracts within the School.”