Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is considering including compulsory modules on unconscious bias and white privilege as part of mandatory training and development required of all students and staff.
The announcement comes after a number of incidents of NTU student behaviours that involved alleged racism were reported to the University on social media in the last two weeks amid the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, who died in Minneapolis three weeks ago after a white police offer kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In Nottingham, hundreds of protesters attended a peaceful demonstration at Forest Recreation Ground last Sunday (7 June), to show their solidarity.
In a statement, Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of NTU, says: “We stand wholeheartedly in opposition to racism.
“The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was abhorrent. It brought home to me with enormous force that racism still thrives in societies across the world, across the UK and inevitably therefore, across large institutions like NTU.”
This comes following a screenshot shared on the Nottingham Buy/Sell Facebook group that sees a student pictured in a charcoal face mask say she “might wear this to ink next time for rnb floor.”
The girl is believed to be studying at NTU.
The post which captioned “#blacklivesmatter. I am actually so tired of this” was removed an hour later after having had furious responses from group members.
In another complaint seen on Twitter, it shows two screenshots of posts on Facebook with a caption saying “It’s gone from this black lives matters, to blacks cause violence ” and the other “Swear it’s just turning into an excuse for nutters to just run around, steal and blow shit up.”
The tweet poster says, “Here are a few comments made by a 1st year LAW student at NTU.
“This is how the system works against us. Racist potential layers working in cases against us.”
Both complaints were brought to the University’s attention and NTU has announced that these reports are treated “as a priority”.
In response to racism reports, the Vice-Chancellor says: “This is both depressing and encouraging.
“Depressing in that BAME students have had to experience activities that they found unacceptable.
“And encouraging in that they had the confidence in our processes that they judge worth making a complaint. We started investigating all of these immediately.”
He also says that it is inappropriate for the university to share the outcome of each investigation, but continues, “In the meantime, I want to be clear that students have been excluded from the University during my time as Vice Chancellor at NTU.”
According to the statement, an annual anonymised summary of the number and nature of complaints regarding racism and the outcome of the subsequent investigation at NTU will be made publicly available from next academic year.
By Na Qing