UK: Call to action over dearth of black professors
According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, only the University of Birmingham has more than two black British professors, while six out of 133 have more than two from the UK or abroad. The statistics, from 2009-10, define black as black Caribbean or black African.
Black academics are demanding urgent action and argue that they have to work twice as hard as their white peers and are passed over for promotion. A study to be published in October says ethnic minorities at UK universities feel "isolated and marginalised". Heidi Mirza, an emeritus professor at the Institute of Education, University of London, is demanding new legislation to require universities to tackle discrimination.
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The presence of a low proportion of black professors in British universities for decades is no surprise given the long and still-lingering history of racial prejudice and discrimination. Besides, this marginalisation serves as a relic of misconceptions of the blacks by Greek and later European scholars. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift.
Dr Akeem Ayofe Akinwale