[Laura Slingo | News Editor] The University of Hertfordshire has recently been presented with its first ever Race Equality Charter Award. Awarded by Professor Laura Serrant, Patron of the Race Equality Charter, this accolade recognises the University’s hard work to advance race equality and improve diversity on campus. The Race Equality Charter offers a framework for institutions to recognise and reflect on institutional and cultural constraints that could be obstructing minority ethnic staff and students. The University was one of eight universities to receive this new award as part of a trial of the Race Equality Charter, in which 21 universities submitted an application. Min Rodriguez, Head of Equality at University of Hertfordshire, said: “I am proud to work with such a committed team which saw us successfully achieving a Bronze award as part of this pilot. We work exceptionally hard to tackle race inequalities and I am delighted that this has been recognised by our peers. “Transparency and honesty are part of our core values and as such our submission highlighted, not only our successes, but also areas that require further improvement. We are committed to addressing these areas to enable both our staff and students to achieve their full potential. The Race Charter has facilitated holistic attention on race equality across our university and this will only benefit us and our stakeholders moving forward,” continued Min. The need for the charter is manifest. There is a large disparity in the representation and success of Black and minority ethnic (BME) staff within UK universities. For example, out of 14,315 professors, just 70 are Black. For students, there is a degree attainment gap of 15.2 per cent between BME students who achieve a first or 2:1 and white students. This rises to a 25.2 per cent gap for Black African heritage students. It is a great achievement for Herts to be recognised for such a progressive accolade.