Past Event details

Beyond the Ivory Towers : Working Towards Greater Equality

Thursday, 08 November 2018

ICHEM and SRHE South West Network Seminar
Uncovering the dark side of inequalities of our great public institutions like parliament, the health service and the entertainment industry has recently preoccupied discourse and media attention. Similar structural inequalities experienced by women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME) is also under scrutiny in higher education. Universities pride themselves as being progressive and liberal institutions delivering a public good. However, the exposure of inequalities, such as gaps in pay, inequality in promotion and BME student attainment, challenges core beliefs. What are some of the conflicting narratives of university cultures, policies and practice as played out in evidence based ‘stories’ illustrating inequalities from the perspective of students, staff and governance?  The seminar will explore these stories to focus on perspectives beyond the ‘ivory towers’ of prestige and privilege. The first story is based on the journey taken by a large university that took an institution wide transformational approach to addressing the gap in attainment between white and BME students. The second draws from empirical evidence of the opportunities and realities of progression and success for women in higher education careers. Finally, some questions will be asked about the governance of universities and the role of external drivers in accelerating greater equality for example levers used in the national assessment of research excellence.


Professor Fiona Ross( CBE)  has a background in social policy and community health and has worked as a research leader, senior manager and practitioner over a 35 year career in higher education. She has worked at King’s College London, St George’s Hospital Medical School and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Fiona has had senior management roles as executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London and corporate lead for equalities at Kingston University. Fiona has published widely on care of older people, public engagement in research, collaborative practice, leadership and equalities in health services and higher education and is currently doing NIHR funded research on the health care workforce and leadership. She is a member of REF2021 Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel and Chair of the Board of trustees at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher. She was awarded a CBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List.  

Please register HERE

Network: South West Regional Network
Date(s): Thursday, 08 November 2018
Times: 11:00 - 12:30
Location: The Edge Management Suite, University of Bath
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