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New governance committee for the Race Equality Charter

06 Jul 2021 | Advance HE Co-Chairs and committee members appointed to govern Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.

Race equality in higher education is boosted by a new governance committee set up to provide assurance, expert advice and guidance to the Advance HE Board for the development of the Race Equality Charter

The Race Equality Charter (REC) provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.

Advance HE has appointed 12 members, including two co-Chairs, to the new Race Equality Charter Governance Committee with a wide range of equality, diversity and inclusion skills and lived experience.

The 12 members appointed to the REC Governance Committee are:

  • Pradeep Passi, Director of EDI, University of Central Lancashire (co-Chair)
  • David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia (co-Chair)
  • Zainab Hussain, Senior Lecturer and EDI Lead, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool
  • Patrick Johnson, Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, The University of Law
  • Nazira Karodia, PVC (Regional Engagement), University Wolverhampton
  • Joanna MacDonnell, Director of Education and Students, University of Brighton
  • Aranee Manoharan, Head of Careers and Employability, King’s College London
  • Khadija Mohammed, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of the West of Scotland
  • Kaushika Patel, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University
  • Narender Ramnani, Professor of Neuroscience, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Jenny K Rodriguez, Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
  • Eli Todorova, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator, University of Nottingham


Alison Johns, Advance HE Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted to welcome the new REC Governance Committee. The members will play an instrumental and critical role in the development, enhancement and sustainability of the Charter, ensuring it remains fit for purpose.

“Reviews are enshrined in the Charter process and it has never been more important that the sector has access to a robust framework which will support institutions to improve the representation, progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students and to tackle and drive out racism in all its forms.

“The Committee members bring a multiplicity of expertise, commitment and passion to race equality in institutions and across higher education. I am grateful for their time and commitment to this incredibly vital work. We look forward to working with the sector to develop and enhance the Charter.”

I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the sector on the REC Governance Committee.

“This is vital work that will further develop the REC and through that, the framework that will support institutional and sector change in relation to racial inequalities, which will ultimately benefit students, HE staff and communities.”

Co-Chair Pradeep Passi

Institutional racism in universities is not just the problem of those suffering from the injustices that result, it is a problem of the whole university community that must therefore tackle this together led by the Vice-Chancellor.

“By joining the Advance HE Race Equality Charter Governance Committee I would like to play my part in helping to deliver this culture change.”

Co-Chair Professor David Richardson

Professor Narender Ramnani said, “I’m confident that REC processes can develop understanding and promote the removal of barriers. I have seen at first hand the ways in which the current form of the REC drives changes in institutions, but realise that it also has the potential to develop in new and exciting directions. I’m really looking forward to playing a role in its evolution.”

Patrick Johnson said, “I am delighted to be a member of the REC Governance Committee. I believe the committee provides an opportunity to engage with work that has an impact and supports the sector to make a real difference to the lives of staff and students.”

Kaushika Patel said, “My passion in driving forward anti-racist practice comes from 17 years working as a social worker with Black, Asian and minority ethnic young people and 15 years working in higher education where race inequalities continue in a variety of forms.  

“Having two children both at university and hearing their experiences of racism, othering and exclusion continues to drive this passion to work, from the inside, to build an anti-racist sector and is why being a member of the REC Governance Committee is particularly important to me.”

The REC Governance Committee will hold its first meeting at the start of the new academic year.



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