Should I stay or should I go? BME academics and the decision to leave UK higher education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Research suggests that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) academics continue to face exclusion, racism and marginalisation in UK higher education institutions (Bhopal in The Experience of BME Academics in Higher Education: Aspirations in the Face of Inequality. Stimulus paper, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, London, 2014; Bhopal and Jackson in The Experiences of Black and Ethnic Minority Academics, Multiple Identities and Career Progression. University of Southampton EPSRC, Southampton, 2013). As a result, many are deciding to leave the UK to work in overseas higher education institutions (Bhopal, Brown and Jackson in Academic Flight: How to Encourage Black and Minority Ethnic Academics to Say in UK Higher Education. ECU, London, 2015). This chapter will discuss findings from research funded by the Equality Challenge Unit which explored the experiences of BME academics in higher education, the reasons why they decide to leave the UK, and what might attract them back to the UK higher education sector. The data for the chapter is based on a survey questionnaire of 1200 respondents and interviews with 41 respondents. The chapter examines how factors such as gender, age and type of university affect the experiences of BME academics. We suggest that senior leaders in higher education should prioritise race equality and provide evidence to demonstrate how race equality is being dealt with. There is also a need to review recruitment, selection and promotion processes to address issues that may help retain BME academics in UK higher education


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDismantling race in higher education: racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy
EditorsJason Arday, Heidi Safia Mirza
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2018