#OccupyUAL: UAL SO White demands are OUT!

As a year anniversary of #OccupyUAL approaches; the student-lead campaign against cuts at UAL (University of the Arts London) which gained phenomenal media attention, #OccupyUAL is once again fighting back, this time taking the lack of diversity in UAL as a headliner with “UAL SO WHITE” campaign.

Inspired by the demands of the previous year, Occupy UAL aims to continue the discourse on institutional racism, including addressing the low levels of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff in academic and senior management positions. This has had, and still is having a direct impact on the attainment and retainment of BAME and International Students.



After years of inadequate management by UAL to address diversity, inclusion and attainment issues facing BAME students and International students, a collective of UAL students and alumni are taking their demands to Nigel Carrington, UAL’s Vice Chancellor, to addresses the various institutional and structural practices which can be considered to be racist and discriminatory.

1st March 2016

DEMANDS from UALSoWhite/OccupyUAL

1. For UAL to launch and fund a BAME and International creative council composed of BAME and International students, alumni and staff which holds the university accountable on all issues which affect BAME and International students.

2.  For all UAL staff including executive board, to have mandatory unconscious bias, cultural sensitivity and mental health first aid training in a safe environment, where their biases can be expressed and challenged in order for the staff to be able to engage more productively with UAL students

3.  For UAL’s KPIs to state “The abolishment of the BAME and International attainment gap in five years”.

4.  For UAL to implement a robust method for students to report cases of discrimination, where the panel is racially diverse and trained in all of the above. And when a student does come forward for the university to show that it acts and takes this behavior seriously.

5.  A 40% Increase of BAME academic staff in the next 12 months.

6.  For UAL to aim for at least 30% representation of BAME staff at all UAL committees and boards, on all levels.

7. For every UAL course’s content and curriculum to be reviewed and for all reading lists to include 60% Women and 45% BAME contributions, to better represent the current UAL student body.

8. In performance reviews, all academic staff to have proved how they have included diversity in their teaching and a demonstrable impact on BAME and International attainment.

9.  For diversity and internationalisation to be part of every UAL course re-validation process.

10. For the Executive Board to completely diversify and include elected student and staff representation.

11.  For UAL to increase the number of counsellors it employs; to make sure CBT is advertised, that the counselling team is diverse and that every student is offered the option of requesting a BAME or woman counsellor, and are able to easily change counsellor on request.

Follow UAL SO WHITE on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and support the movement!

For more information about equality and diversity at UAL, please read ‘ UAL’s and Diversity Report 2015

We’re continuing the discourse with “Diversity Matters Awareness Week 2016: Let’s Talk About Race” 18th April – 23rd April! Book now for:
Plus workshops and more!
#OccupyUAL! Students speak up against cuts!
#OccupyUAL! No To Foundation Cuts
Diversity Awareness Week 2016!

4 thoughts on “#OccupyUAL: UAL SO White demands are OUT!

  1. A sound and valid campaign!

    To strengthen and clarify the statistics, you could:
    • include figures for UAL senior mangement and executive posts (not just Associate Deans and Deans, but Heads of College, Pro Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Director of Estates and Operations, Director of Finance, Director of Human Resources etc.)
    • consider separately including figures for cleaning staff, security, catering etc?
    • check that the totals are accurately calculated (with the statistics you currently cite, the total BAME should be not 9% but just 8% if you add up the figures and divide by 5)
    • Having made these minor corrections, the key point would be to compare the UAL figures against the demographic statistics for the UK overall, and for London.


  2. Nuts! when you have a % figure that matches the % in society overall then this is a good thing, to ask for a greater representation on the basis of BAME student numbers then becomes racist in itself. That is, because the subject is the subject, it is not racially applied, if it were we would have even greater problems. Please don’t do this sort of thing, it really skews the argument for diversity making it appear random and petty.

    It may be worth noting, that many of the staff will be several decades apart, so they may have studied in the 1980’s when representation was a real issue. So they are naturally the lecturers of the moment. In 10-20’s it will naturally be the opposite from the given figures of BAME students.


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