News

Call for nominations: Chartered ABS Apprenticeships Committee

The Chartered Association of Business Schools is seeking new members for our Apprenticeships Committee.

17th July 2024

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The UK business school community is made up of a diverse population of students and staff. Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a priority of the Chartered ABS and we are committed to highlighting innovation and good practice and sharing it both within and beyond our membership.

The 2022 and 2023 editions of our Annual Membership Survey reveal that EDI remains a high strategic priority for business schools. This was corroborated by our analysis of the 2023 REF impact case studies, which recorded 34 case studies on the subject of EDI.

Through our EDI Committee and Race Equality Action Group, the Chartered ABS aims to encourage best practice within UK business schools, which includes emphasis on representation of people from minority ethnic backgrounds in the professoriate and in senior positions in business schools; decolonising the curriculum; and closing the awarding gap.

Inclusive working environments

  • The UK business school sector employs a total of 23,000 staff: comprised of 18,300 academic and 4,800 non-academic.

  • 51% of the staff in UK business schools are female and 49% are male.

  • Approximately 1 in 4 business school employees are from ethnic minority backgrounds, which is significantly higher than the average for the higher education sector.  

  • 5% of staff employed in business & administrative studies are known to have a disability.  

Our Annual Membership Survey monitors sector progress in relation to EDI initiatives. The latest edition revealed that 57% of the business schools who completed the survey run a mentoring, sponsorship, or allyship programme to improve inclusion amongst their staff. It also revealed that 90% of UK business schools voluntarily record their ethnicity pay gap.

Inclusive learning environments 

UK business schools provide an inclusive learning and teaching experience for the benefit of students. Our latest Annual Membership Survey revealed that one-third of UK business school home students are from neighbourhoods that have low participation in higher education. For almost half of survey respondents, this proportion has increased over the last five years.

Closing the awarding gap  

A key area for student success in UK business schools is closing the awarding gap for ethnic minority groups. Sometimes referred to as the 'degree attainment' gap, this is defined as the disparity in degree outcomes between UK-domiciled full-time first-degree students from ethnic minority backgrounds and their white counterparts.

The degree awarding gap in higher education has remained relatively static at 13% but decreased to 9 percentage points in 2020/21. However, in 2021/22, the gap increased again to 11%. The decreases in 2020 to 2021 possibly reflect assessment policies adopted by many higher education institutions to accommodate for the impact of Covid-19 on students' performance and experience.

Decolonising the curriculum

Decolonising the curriculum relates to identifying and challenging the ways in which colonialism has impacted upon perceived knowledge and learning. The Chartered ABS recognises decolonising is integral to an inclusive curriculum, and seeks to encourage research and teaching that addresses this within UK business schools.

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