Diverse Adversities (2021-22)

Three students looking at a phone


Over the last year and a half your union has been carrying out an important research project on the experiences of ethnic minority students at Herts.


We found that BAME students face numerous and complex barriers to their academic success and wellbeing at university, and have made a number of recommendations to the university on how they can improve support for students.


The student population at Herts is very diverse, and throughout surveys and focus groups students spoke about how this diversity is a very positive aspect of their life at UH. Home BAME students often spoke about how Herts was the first place where they finally felt like they “fit in”. International BAME students stated that they partly decided to come to UH because of this diversity.


Whilst BAME students spoke in-depth about their love for our diverse community and the positive benefit that has brought to their university experience, they also spoke about the barriers and adversities that they have faced at the university. This report explores these barriers: from experiences of racism and harassment on campus and inaccessible support services, to unfair marking practices and financial hardship.


To tackle this and help support our students, our main recommendations for the University include:

  • · The implementation of a Pro-Vice Chancellor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • · The creation of a zero-tolerance policy to harassment and discrimination
  • · Review of the disciplinary procedure to ensure it is fit for purpose
  • · Annual publications of reports of discrimination and harassment, and what action the university took
  • · Implementation of a BAME counsellor and to train all current wellbeing staff in trauma-informed counselling and racial trauma
  • · Implementation of a harassment, assault and hate crime advisor
  • · For Personal Tutors and Module leads to receive mandatory Disclosure and Active Bystander training
  • · Increased funding for International student support
  • · Mandatory consent training as part of Freshers


You can download the report here