Statistics revealing that only 2.1% - 3.3% of academic managers, directors and senior officials in the UK (Northern Ireland being the lowest and Wales the highest) are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) indicate a continuing lack of opportunity for their career progression within higher education institutions. This is despite significant increases in the number of students from BAME backgrounds attending university, and in spite of universities being required to eliminate race discrimination and proactively advance race equality under the Equality Act 2010. The statistics highlight the difficulties that BAME staff and students continue to face in their efforts to progress through the academic hierarchy and denote that more still needs to be done to advance the rate at which qualified BAME researchers and academics are able to progress.

This paper examines recent data relating to ethnicity in academia and research; what is currently being done to tackle the issue of racial equality in research and higher education institutions (HEIs); and what other measures can be actioned to improve the percentage of BAME individuals in academia in the future.

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