Independent review – 8 June 2016

Cardiff University has asked Dinesh Bhugra CBE, Professor of Mental Health and Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, to undertake an independent review to investigate issues of racial equality.

The review will initially focus on the School of Medicine and will give particular consideration to recent concerns and allegations raised about the student-led play Anaphylaxis.

However, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, is keen for the University as a whole to learn lessons from the review, and its recommendations will feed into the University’s application for the Race Equality Charter.

Professor Riordan said: “I am pleased that Professor Bhugra has agreed to chair this review. It is vital to have a chair of appropriate expertise and high standing and Professor Bhugra is eminently qualified on both fronts.

“Cardiff University needs to be a place where all our students and staff can thrive irrespective of their background and the review is part of our pro-active approach to ensuring this.

“Cardiff University takes issues relating to equality and diversity very seriously and is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all of our activities.”

The review will begin work over the summer and report in the autumn.

Professor Bhugra will be supported by a secretary and two independent panel members, yet to be appointed.

Professor Bhugra said: “I welcome the opportunity to chair this review and support the pro-active approach that the University is taking.

“I look forward to working with staff and students at Cardiff University as the review progresses.”

-Ends-

Notes:

Constitution of Panel

The panel will consist of three members consisting of:

  • A person with an understanding of the legal requirements for race equality
  • A person with experience of good practice in embedding race equality in a higher education setting
  • A high-profile chair

One of the above will have experience of working within the NHS and Medical Education.

Terms of reference

An Independent Panel has been appointed by the University to examine the admission, experience, progression and success of minority ethnic students and the recruitment, experience and promotion of minority ethnic staff at the University’s School of Medicine.

It will examine whether there are institutional and cultural barriers that might exist for them.  The Panel will give particular consideration to recent concerns raised about the activities of the student-led play Anaphylaxis, and other related student Societies and practices at the Medical School to assess their impact on minority ethnic students and staff.

The Panel’s terms of reference are:

  • To consider the available data for student and staff recruitment, retention, progress and attainment and report on its adequacy and any racial inequalities apparent from the data;
  • To review relevant University, College and School policies and procedures, including but not limited to those at the Medical School to assess their suitability, fitness for purpose and, through discussions with staff and students at the University, advise on their effectiveness and make relevant recommendations;
  • To consider the concerns expressed about the student-led activities, and practices at the Medical School, in particular those related to the annual student production, Anaphylaxis, and to make relevant recommendations;
  • To consider the effectiveness of the Medical School’s academic and clinical curriculum in addressing matters of diversity and professionalism and to make relevant recommendations;
  • To hear about the experiences of different students and members of staff at the University and to report on any racial inequalities apparent from those discussions.
  • To consider the Medical School’s existing objectives and targets for race equality and, in light of the matters set out above, make relevant recommendations.

The Panel will make recommendations specific to the Medical School and related student societies within a framework that will allow them to be applied more widely to other areas of professional practice and the wider University.

Process

The University will:

  • Appoint a Secretary to the Panel to lead on collating the data, policies, witnesses that the Panel may wish to meet; and
  • Establishing a call for evidence so that staff and students can submit information to the Panel about their views on, and experience of, race equality at the University.

Biographical details – Professor Dinesh Bhurga

Dinesh Bhugra is Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London.

He was an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1992 -2014) and is President of the World Psychiatric Association.

Professor Bhugra has been on the Education Committee of the European Psychiatric Association and led an international research project covering recruitment of medical students into psychiatry across 23 countries, funded by the World Psychiatric Association. He has led on training modules and accessed curricula in many institutions including the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He is a prolific author/editor of over 30 books, 90 book chapters, 100 editorials and over 180 papers. His book ‘Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry’ won the 2012 Creative Scholarship Award from the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture and was commended in the 2008 BMA Book Awards. His book ‘Mental Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers’  was highly commended in the 2011 BMA Awards.

Professor Bhugra is a well-known authority and commentator on social and public health psychiatry: cross-cultural psychiatry, migrant mental health, professionalism in psychiatry, depression, psychosexual medicine, service provision and decision-making.

Further information is available at: www.dineshbhugra.net/