Universities Scotland

Race Equality Toolkit

Learning and Teaching

Higher education plays a vital role in preparing students for the employment market and active citizenship both nationally and internationally. By embedding race equality in teaching and learning, institutions can ensure that they acknowledge the experiences and values of all students, including minority ethnic and international students.

Universities Scotland first published the Race Equality Toolkit: Learning and Teaching in 2006 in response to strong demand from the universities in Scotland for guidance on meeting their statutory obligations in terms of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The Equality Act 2010 replaces all the existing equality legislation and strengthens the law to support progress on equality. Universities Scotland is pleased to publish the revised Race Equality Toolkit to reflect the changes in legislation but also developing practice in mainstreaming race equality in learning and teaching in the university sector in Scotland.

As the representative body of all the universities in Scotland, Universities Scotland is committed to race equality and to securing the contribution it can make to enhancing the quality of learning experienced by what is an increasingly diverse, multi-faith and multi-cultural student population.

Higher education plays a vital role in preparing students for the employment market and active citizenship both nationally and internationally. By embedding race equality in teaching and learning, institutions can ensure that they acknowledge the experiences and values of all students, including minority ethnic and international students.

The Toolkit is not prescriptive. It does not provide a blueprint for how race equality should be addressed in teaching and learning but it encourages the academic staff to self-evaluate, and to review the curriculum and their teaching and assessment methods, in order to create as inclusive a learning environment as possible.

Leadership and support at institutional level are prerequisites for successful mainstreaming of race equality issues in curriculum, learning and teaching. The Toolkit, therefore, encourages the institutions to develop the corporate strategies necessary to support individual lecturers and departments in mainstreaming race equality issues.

Top level commitment is vital, and I commend the Toolkit to all my senior colleagues. We need to demonstrate our personal support if we are to deliver effectively on race equality, an issue that is so important for us all.

Professor Bernard King’s signature

Professor Bernard King CBE
Convener of Universities Scotland

... University X wants to be recognised as an international university and has a lot of international students but if you have a lot of international students then you have to adapt your teaching styles and content.

student comment

I think it is helpful for lecturers to openly admit there will be limits to their understanding of cultural issues which could be relevant to their classroom.

staff comment

Strategies in Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching in a classroom has come to reflect a world that is now characterised by globalisation. Learning and teaching frameworks should be able to meet the needs and requirements of a diverse student population in terms of ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.

This section provides a series of questions that lecturers can use to self-evaluate their practice in relation to race equality. It includes consideration of:

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