Council of Deans of Health’s commitment to race equity

1 November 2023

A statement from Ed Hughes, CEO, Council of Deans of Health and Professor Alison Machin, Chair, Council of Deans of Health.

Today marks the start of Race Equity Month 2023 and, as the new Chief Executive and Chair of the Council, we would like to restate our commitment to racial equity.

As an organisation, inclusivity is built into our core values. Through our membership engagement activities and policy work, we will give a voice to underrepresented individuals and communities in healthcare higher education. We want to be a voice for change within the healthcare education sector to make a tangible difference to the healthcare academic workforce, as well as to healthcare students.

In Ed’s short time at the Council so far, he has joined the Race Equity Group and is looking forward to chairing his first Race Equity Month webinar later this month on improving inclusivity in research funding. The Council will also be sharing a series of resources including webinars with a focus on decolonising the midwifery curriculum and exploring the degree awarding gap.

The principles of equality, diversity and inclusion, including racial equity, are important to all universities. As a Council we want to continually improve our own policy and practice and to support our members to do the same, for the benefit of the students and communities they engage with.

As Chief Executive and Chair of the Council, we seek to continue to work closely with the Race Equity Group, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Priority Group, our members, and our trustees to:

  • ensure that our internal processes and structures live up to our values, including taking steps to make our trustee board and member groups more representative of the communities we seek to serve.
  • work with members to help them to address the unacceptable racism which students continue to experience during their studies and in placement settings.
  • support members in tackling persistent inequalities that negatively affect the career progression of minoritised staff and students.

During Race Equity Month, we particularly focus on providing opportunities to hear the voices of those impacted by racism. As a sector, we still have a long way to go to ensure that our academic workforce at all levels, and the students we recruit, reflect the breadth of our society. Whilst Race Equity Month helps to highlight some of the solutions to racial inequity in healthcare higher education, we are committed to addressing these issues through all of our work, throughout the year.

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