Appendix 2: Green Templeton Equality Action Agenda for Black Lives

Equal representation, progression and success for members of the GTC community.

v 0.3 18th November 2020


Approving authority:  GTC Governing Body

Responsible office:  TBD

Effective date:  1st January 2021

Next (annual) review:  November 2021



I. Introduction

A foundational value at Green Templeton College (GTC) is “inclusion of all, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity or class.” Similarly, all institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom, as bastions of education and learning, are increasingly confronting the injustices that have and continue to affect Black people within their institutions and more widely. These injustices have been longstanding but laid bare this year, with the evident disparities in Covid-19 outcomes and the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25th 2020. This  moment has  demanded  that  universities  and colleges  do  more  than  make  supportive statements about racial equality and instead take concrete actions to combat racism, particularly at the systemic level.

This Action Agenda outlines GTCs commitment to implement change over the next five years, with the overarching goal of minimizing disadvantages suffered by Black members of the GTC community, and achieving more equal representation, wellbeing, progression and success for them. The proposed actions will be embedded in GTC’s next Strategy, which is currently under development and anticipated to be finalized in 2021.

This Action Agenda was developed by the Black Lives Taskforce established in July 2020 (see Annex 2 for details). It was informed by review of available reports and policies, and consultations with members of the GTC community – including an open forum held on June 19th 2020. This Action Agenda is underpinned by the UK’s Equality Act of 2010, the University of Oxford’s code of practice on harassment, the University’s 2018

Race Equality Charter application, the University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan (which includes commitment to reduce unexplained gaps in attainment by gender, ethnic origin and socioeconomic background by 2030), and the College Equality Policy and Race Equality statement. The Action Agenda was developed recognizing, and with the intention of complementing, existing initiatives at the College and the University that more broadly promote Equality and Diversity.

II. Race and Ethnic Inequalities at Oxford

While data specific to the GTC community that are disaggregated by ethnicity are limited, there is evidence of racial disparities at the University of Oxford and that Black members of the community face greater disadvantage than other racial and ethnic minority groups (see below). As such the College seeks to take steps to better reflect inclusion and specifically address inequalities affecting Black students, staff and fellows.

The  2011 Census data showed that England and Wales’ population of 56.1 million people was comprised of the following ethnic groups: 86.0% White, 7.5% Asian, 3.3% Black, 2.2% Mixed and 1.0% Other. This ethnicity/racial group distribution is not proportionately reflected in figures describing employment, achievement of positive health outcomes, education attainment and other areas influencing life and wellbeing. With respect to higher education, only 6% of Black school leavers attended a Russell Group university, compared with 12% of Asian school leavers and 11% of White school leavers (Equality and human rights commission race report –  2016). The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) revealed that out of the 535 staff employed as “managers, directors or senior officials” across British universities in 2018-19: 475 identified as White, 15 as Asian, 5 Mixed (1%) or 5 Other ethnicity, and none as Black (ethnicity was unknown for 35). Race disparities are apparent in national data and suggest that Black people are at a greater disadvantage in higher education than other minority ethnic groups.

Figures at the University of Oxford align with these national data. Some examples are provided below, derived from compiled analyses included in the University’s 2018 Race Equality Charter (REC) application (see Annex for relevant Tables and Figures), the University’s  Access and Participation Plan 2020/1 – 2024/5  and the University’s 2018/19 Race Equality Report.

The 2018/19 Race Equality Report states that 14% of Oxford staff during the reporting period belonged to Black, Asian of Minority ethnic (BAME) group. This reflected a 1% increase from the previous year, although the percentage of unknown ethnicity also rose from 11% to 13%. The rate of unknown ethnicity among academic and research staff was double the national average (comparison with unknown ethnicity proportion in HESA Staff Record 2018/19). Examples of inequalities identified that relate to staff are:

  • BAME groups are underrepresented in academic and professional staff positions at Oxford, as well as in senior roles. UK in-post staff during the reporting period were 1% Black, 1% Chinese, 4% non-Chinese Asian, < 1% Arab, 2% Mixed. EU and international in-post staff were 2% Black, 9% Chinese, 9% non- Chinese Asian, 1% Arab, 3% Mixed. BAME make up 6% of professors and senior management position holders at Oxford, which is slightly lower than the Russell group average of 8% and the rest of UK higher education sector average of 9% (HESA Staff Record, 2018/19).
  • There are inequalities along the staff recruitment process, most notably at shortlisting stage. While UK BAME made up 15% of individuals who applied for academic staff positions, they made up 8% of those who were shortlisted, and 7% who accepted the offer. These figures for UK Whites were 80% applied, 87% shortlisted, 87% shortlisted. These inequalities in recruitment by ethnic group, and notable drop off at shortlisting stage for BAME applicants were also evident (although less pronounced) for non-UK BAME applicants for academic staff positions, and for UK and non-UK applicants for research and professional staff positions.

The University’s Access and Participation Plan 2020/21 – 2024/25 reports that currently BAME students make up 18% of the student body at Oxford (18%). There has been steady growth in this figure over the past five years, and indication that Oxford’s intake of BAME students is aligned with the proportions of ethnic groups in the 18-25 year old UK population as a whole. Approximately 8% of the total student intake is Asian students, 2.6% Black students and 6% of Mixed ethnicity. At GTC, which is a post-graduate college with notable international recruitment, 45% of students belong to BAME groups (out of which 16% were non- Chinese Asian, 11% Chinese, 7.6% Black and 8% Mixed).* Equality data specific to GTC students are lacking (hence data development is among the recommended actions). Examples of inequalities that relate to students, identified based on analysis of pooled University data, are:

  • Attainment inequalities are evident, with lower rates observed in students belonging to BAME groups. General student attainment at Oxford was very high in 2018/19: 94% of undergraduate students gained a first or upper second degree, and 99% of taught post-graduate students passed their degree). However, in the case of undergraduate as well as post-graduate (taught) students, BAME students were less likely to obtain a first-class award than their White contemporaries.
  • Attainment gaps were higher for students who are Black compared to those belonging to other ethnic minority groups. In 2018, the undergraduate attainment gap was 12% for Black students (5 year average), which was smaller than that for the sector as a whole (24%). Similarly, the gap of 6% for Asian students was smaller than that for the sector as a whole (11%). The largest absolute gap applied to Black male students, and after controlling for structural factors (including prior attainment, school-type and performance, POLAR3, ACORN, and care leavers), there remained a significant unexplained gap.

*GTC Equality Report 2019

III. Guiding Principles

This action agenda embraces the following principles, adapted from the Race Equality Charter** overseen by

AdvanceHE, until GTC develops its own:

  1. Racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it afford
  2. Solutions to racial inequalities should seek to achieve long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individu Institutional change requires time and resources, and senior ownership within organisations.
  3. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff and students are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of, and outcomes within, higher educatio This heterogeneity and complexity needs to be considered when analysing data and developing actions.
  4. All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possib
  5. Black students and staff in higher education are disproportionately affected in several respects (as evidenced in section II), hence the focus of this action agenda is anti-Black racism and discrimination. That said, it is recognized that other ethnic minority groups face similar disadvantage and the intention of the actions being recommended to address anti-Black racism will serve as a platform to build on and advance racial equality more broadly.

** More information on the Race Equality Charter is available here.

IV. Recommended Actions

Table 1 lists the ten priority actions recommended. In identifying these actions, the taskforce considered:

  • The need to confront racism at all levels which it operates (individual behaviour, cultural/collective behaviour, and institutional structures), with an emphasis on targeting institutional/structural racism to enable sustained, long-term change.
  • Inclusion of inputs from Black members of the community in action agenda development. This was achieved through the membership of the taskforce, weighting of prioritisation inputs, and invitation of members of the community to participate in prioritisation through a brief anonymous online survey.
  • Strategies that would facilitate successful implementation of the action agenda. These included inviting taskforce members who were representatives of key decision-making structures at GTC and who would serve as advocates for implementation (e.g. GCR and GB representatives). It also included building in actions to ensure high level ownership and identifying metrics that reflect meaningful outcomes, in addition to process measures (e.g. reflect lasting changes in structures, and observed increases in the number of Black students).

The recommended actions are listed in order of priority in Table 1, and detailed further below (details are organized along strategic objectives and include measures of success).

Table 1. Ten recommended actions to counter anti-Black racism and promote equality at GTC (ordered by priority level)

No.ActionTimingBudgetRacism domain targeted: individualRacism domain targeted: culturalRacism domain targeted: structural

Highest priority


Hold an anti-racism campaign






Establish a Black students' representative position in the GCR





Establish a ring-fenced scholarship for Black students, coupled with mentorship





Take positive action to increase BAME fellows/staff recruitment and progression






Appoint GB committees heads to oversee agenda delivery




Intermediate priority


Develop, monitor and accordingly report program data by ethnicity






Identify a dedicated, paid, College Equality officer to coordinate agenda delivery**





Strengthen structures for university-wide advocacy and action







Establish a Black students association, with funding for programming





Offer trainings and programming to raise awareness and foster inclusion





*Every four years.
** The Equality officer would also be responsible for coordination of broader Equality and Diversity activities at GTC.

Objective 1: To raise awareness and cultivate an inclusive culture that does not tolerate racism

1.1 Hold an anti-racism campaign (high)

1.2. Offer trainings and programming to raise awareness and foster inclusion (intermediate)

Measures of success: Proportion of students, staff and fellows who have received unconscious bias training in the previous two years (>90%), presence of physical signage around campus, positive trends in frequency and type of reported inter-personal misconduct incidents, student satisfaction with College life experience.

Campaign. The campaign’s objectives will be to: 1) Communicate Green Templeton’s zero-tolerance for racial discrimination and celebration of diversity, 2) Embrace Black members of the community, and give visibility to day to day challenges faced such as microaggressions, 3) Raise awareness on how to promote inclusion, and 4) Provide information on responses that can be made in the moment, as well as procedures and supports available at the College. Key messages that achieve the above objectives will be delivered through various channels including social media, the College’s website and virtual communications (emails, newsletters) and high quality permanent physical signage around GTC campus.

The campaign will communicate the College’s expectation that all members of the community should enrol in unconscious bias and bystander trainings. Communication of this expectation will also be through training available online; arrangements are to be made to for the Student Union to train GTC master trainers (via online workshops) who will then set up trainings for GTC community members. Training is compulsory for all GTC staff. While training cannot be made compulsory for students or fellows (although it is a requirement of most department-based University contracts), uptake of the trainings will be incentivized (e.g. required to sit on Committees or prior to receiving Fellowship benefits). The College also audit on an annual basis the number of students, fellows and staff who have taken the training.

Objective 2: To embed Black equality deliberations into decision-making structures

1.3 Establish a Black students’ representative position in the GCR (high)

1.4. Establish a Black students association, with funding for programming (intermediate)

Measures of success: GCR constitution revised to reflect existence of a Black students’ rep position (and other equality reps), number of initiatives and events/programming focused on Black equality (average >3 per year)

The Black students’ representative position will provide a channel via which concerns related to the College life and experience affecting Black students as a group can be communicated and addressed. The holder of the position will serve as an advocate for addressing these issues and help coordinate related programming and initiatives. The position should be one that is a voting member of the GCR. While a short term provision will be made to create the position (given the action’s prioritisation as urgent and important), longer term provision to establish this as a permanent position will be made, though revision of the Constitution proposed by the student body.

Objective 3: To take positive action to increase representation of Black students, staff and fellows

1.5. Take positive action to increase BAME fellows/staff recruitment and progression (high)

1.6 Establish a ring-fenced scholarship for Black students (high)

Measures of success (and targets): % of students, staff, fellows who are Black (increasing from year to year – long term goal 3%); number of Black / all BAME staff and fellows (increasing); % of Black / all BAME staff and fellows in senior roles (increasing); number of policies revised to include positive action (≥ 2).

Approaches to recruitment of College staff will model those instituted to address gender inequality across the University, and should include: use recruiting agencies linked with Black professional networks, short- lists for interview to include at least one Black candidate (i.e.  Rooney rule) and ideally ≥ 15% BAME candidates (to match the proportion of BAME applicants) and ≥3% Black candidates; recruitment panels made up of ≥ 10%  BAME individuals (the University’s gender equality target is 30% female membership of recruitment panels, with provision of co-opting panellists from other staff cadres or other departments). R Beyond recruitment, similar approaches will be taken to facilitate progression and placement in senior roles of Black staff and fellows, and embedding these approaches as part of the College’s broader policy reform. These include positive action shortlisting, diversifying panels for staff promotion and GB appointment, and targeted professional development opportunities.

Where relevant and legally justified, existing policies and procedures will be revised to reflect the proposed positive action. These revisions will be conducted by an external consultant, with inputs from representatives of the Black Lives taskforce, Equality and Diversity forum, relevant GB committees, as well as the College’s legal/by-laws officer. Given that recruitment of students and of academic/research University staff (the majority of potential GTC fellows) is conducted at the University/Departmental level, GTC will advocate for similar approaches to positive action through existing University-level structures.

Financial hardship has been identified as a hindrance for Black students to accept offers of admission and to succeed academically in higher education. As such a scholarship (not endowed by the College) would increase the number of Black students who train and graduate from Oxford, thus increasing representation in the student body and, potentially, in Oxford University academic positions. Recommended scholarships (not endowed by the College) will be for a duration of up to four years, and support a mix of Masters (~2 per year) level and DPhil (~1 per year) students – recognizing the greater gaps in availability of Masters funding, but also fulfilling the objectives of supporting a pipeline of Black academics and academic leaders. The scholarship will cover tuition fees, accommodation, monthly living stipend. The scholarship panel will be diverse and eligibility criteria will include: identification of the applicant as Black, socioeconomic vulnerability, academic merit, GTC as the first choice of College. A partnership with the University can be explored to leverage the recently announced Black Academic Futures Scholarship*  (which GTC is affiliated with, currently at no cost) and how this scholarship scheme can continue to benefit GTC students for the long term. Scholarship recipients will be matched with a mentor and participate in an enrichment program, both of which will level GTC’s alumni network as well as the experience and networks of programs within the University that similarly mentor and develop BAME students (e.g. UNIQ+** and Target Oxbridge***)


Objective 4: To improve available data and analysis of decision-making practices

1.7 Develop, monitor and accordingly report program data by ethnicity (intermediate)

Measures of success (and targets): number of staff/fellow recruitment, staff promotion, and student admissions data elements that are available by ethnic group (increasing, >5); number of annual Equality reports (a legally required report) that include ethnicity data (4).

There is need for richer data to better understand experience and performance, and inform efforts to address inequalities affecting Black people. An audit will be conducted to map out routinely available data elements, and how these are collected and utilized. The audit will help generate recommendations on how to improve data collection and utilisation at the College level including how to develop routinely collected data so that decision on staff (recruitment, promotion, disciplinary action, pay) and student (disciplinary action, scholarships) can be analysed at the level of ethnic group. These data will be utilized for program evaluation as well as (subset of data) to evaluate impact of this action agenda.

Objective 5: To facilitate successful implementation and amplified impact of the action agenda

1.8 Appoint GB Committee heads who will oversee delivery of the action agenda (high)

1.9 Identify a dedicated, paid College Equality officer who will coordinate action agenda delivery (intermediate)

1.10 Strengthen structures/mechanism/for advocacy for University-wide action (intermediate)

Measures of success (and targets): College officer identified/hired, number of annual review meetings held as expected – composition, timing, evidence available for review (5)

College Committees will be allocated responsibility for oversight of implementation of specific actions (e.g. Academic Committee for student-related actions) and will report on an annual basis to the College’s Governing Body and the Black Lives taskforce. Assessment of progress will be made against the action agenda’s pre-specified measures of success at Trinity Term meetings.  Given the scope and novelty of this action agenda, there is a need to resource (hire or appropriately allocate) a dedicated paid College Officer who will be responsible for coordinating and managing delivery of this action agenda. His/her duties will include compiling assessment data, drafting reports, monitoring and trouble-shooting progress, scheduling and documenting meetings and facilitating communication between stakeholders involved in this action agenda. This Officer will also be responsible for coordinating the broader activities related the Equality and Diversity agenda at GTC. For the longer term, discussion should be held as to whether to establish an Equality & Diversity Committee within the Governing Body vs integrating Equality efforts into the responsibilities of various existing Committees.

Strengthening mechanisms for University-wide action will benefit GTC by amplifying local action, and promote actions that require University-level decision making. Effect of this is cross-cutting and involves several prioritized actions e.g.  data strengthening, staff recruitment, student admissions and scholarships. Strategies for strengthening links includes: Black students rep active engagement in broader organisations involving Black students (e.g. African and Caribbean Society, Afox); key GB committees required to have representation in the Oriel College commission, and other University-wide Committees concerned with Equality and Diversity.


In alphabetical order of surname.

  1. Leenah Abuelgasim
  2. Josephine Agyeman-Duah
  3. Daniel Cooper
  4. Allison D’Ambrosia
  5. Kelly-Ann Fonderson
  6. Susan James Relly
  7. Nick Parrott
  8. Lauren Rudd
  9. Neo Tapela (Chair)