National Union of Students claims universities care more about reputation than racism

National Union of Students claims universities care more about reputation than racism

Shakira Martin criticised universities' response to racism (Stock image)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The President of the National Union of Students (NUS) has claimed universities are more concerned with reputation than they are about racism.

Shakira Martin told the BBC students have been informing her of racist incidents every day.

It is not clear how many racist incidents take place at universities, however in 2011 NUS discovered one in six students who were black had gone through racism whilst studying.

Martin believes there could be many more racist incidents than are reported, yet it's not being prioritised by universities which are "more concerned about their reputation than the wellbeing of their students."

She is calling on the Government and universities to tackle the issue which is leaving "people feeling unsafe on campus, people feeling not welcome on campus."

She added: "It should be a standard procedure on our institutions that there is a zero tolerance to any forms of racism and discrimination.

"I think that the Government needs to work with institutions and give them the money and the funding that is needed to support students that are going through this."

Labour MP David Lammy and who previously worked as the universities minister has also called for more to be done.

He said universities should "redouble their efforts to support students on campus" and need to have a "zero-tolerance approach to anything that comes anywhere near racial hatred."

Lammy added that racism should be "cracked down on very very aggressively" as people are replicating "xenophobia and racist conversations" they've heard in their local communities and "even sadly in their own family homes."