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£470,000 will be invested and based at the University's John Smith Centre.

The Scottish government is set to invest £470,000 in a new leadership and development project targeting Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups. The initiative will be based at the University of Glasgow’s John Smith Centre.

The project aims to break down the barriers to public life that minority ethnic groups encounter and seeks to ensure that “workplaces share the diversity of the communities they represent".

The project will see 50 Black and ethnic minority individuals from across Scotland take part in a nine-month professional and personal development programme, which includes internships and mentorship throughout the processes. The money being invested by the Scottish government is part of an ambition to increase diversity and representation in public life.

Scotland has an acute problem with a lack of BAME individuals in leadership positions. Research published by Labour MSP Anas Sarwar revealed that there are only 10 ethnic minority civil servants at the most senior level and only 1.8% of the civil service as a whole comes from a BAME background.

Other figures show that 21 local authority areas have council staff that is comprised of less than 1% non-white employees. The report also highlighted the lack of diversity in the police force, with only 1% of officers identifying as BAME. This is despite 4% of Scotland’s population being part of an ethnic minority group.

Reacting to the announcement of the project on twitter the Principal Anton Muscatelli said: “I am delighted that this major new project to support BAME leadership will be taken forward at the University of Glasgow." Adding  “as a University, we are determined to do everything we can to support racial justice and equality, within our institution and in wider society."

Muscatelli also highlighted the University's role at “the forefront of efforts to enhance awareness and understanding of our country’s part in the historic slave trade – as well as the deeply regrettable ways in which our own institution benefited from the reprehensible practice."

The new leadership programme is just one of the initiatives the University is part of that aims to create equal opportunity.  The University has launched the James McCune Smith scholarships for African and African Caribbean undergraduate students and a successful partnership has been forged with the University of the West Indies resulting in the formation of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research.


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