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Amended: Independent Review to Investigate Issues of Racial Equality - 28 September 2016

Cardiff University has appointed a Panel to undertake an independent review to investigate issues of racial equality:


  • Dinesh Bhugra CBE - Professor of Mental Health and Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London.

Panel Members

  • Vanessa Cameron MBE – Chief Executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists as a lay member.
  • Harini Iyengar – Barrister with 11KBW specialising in Discrimination and Equality.
  • David Ruebain – Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, working to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions.

A biography of the panel members is available in the attached Appendix.

Terms of Reference

The Panel will examine the student and staff experience in relation to racial equality at the University’s School of Medicine and how the organisation is responding to institutional and cultural barriers that exist for minority ethnic students and staff.

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 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 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;
  • In light of the experiences of staff and students consider and make recommendations related to the impact of relevant policies and procedures and the Medical School’s academic and clinical curriculum in addressing matters of diversity and professionalism;

The University Fitness to Practice procedures have concluded consideration of the actions and omissions of individual students involved in Anaphylaxis 2016. Given the rules of natural justice it would not therefore be appropriate for the Review Panel to re-open or reconsider those issues.

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.


Biographical details

Chair - 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:

Vanessa Cameron, MBE

Vanessa Cameron is Chief Executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists with overall responsibility for the management of all College activities and has many years’ experience in organisational management and team development. Vanessa has been involved in many successful projects from raising funds to make an anti-stigma film shown in Warner Cinemas, to establishing a policy unit and setting up a development function to raise much needed funds for research.

Vanessa has trained staff in Sofia, Bulgaria and Tbililsi, Georgia to train staff on the establishment and management of emerging psychiatric organisations and has been invited to review the administration of the World Psychiatric Association.

Since 2006 Vanessa has been a Specialist Lay Member of the Tribunals Service for Mental Health. She works with a Judge and a Medical Member to assess the detention of patients section under the Mental Health Act and has carried out over 250 tribunals. Vanessa is also a Governor and Trustee of the Arts Educational Schools - a School and College focusing on the performing arts and in particular musical theatre.

Further information is available at:

Harini Iyengar

Harini is a Barrister with 11KBW and was called to the Bar in 1999.  She specialises in the law on EU, Employment, Discrimination and Equality, Education, Partnership, Data Protection, and Procurement.

Harini’s recent work includes continuing representation of the NHS whistleblower, Dr Kevin Beatt, defending a sensitive victimisation case and representing a senior woman academic who brought claims of victimisation and sex discrimination against a university.  Her Discrimination and Equality work also includes representing various women working in the City in several very high-value discrimination and equal pay claims and Harini successfully defended the Metropolitan Police from an unusual claim of sex discrimination brought by a male firearms officer who had been refused a career break. Harini has a busy Education practice with increasing numbers of Higher Education cases.

Harini is a Governor of London Metropolitan University and an external trustee of Oxford University Student Union.  She sits on the steering committee of the Temple Women’s Forum, is a formal mentor for Cityparents, and is a trained interviewer for Inner Temple oral history project.  In 2016, she ran for election to the Greater London Assembly for the brand new Women’s Equality Party, in its first-ever elections.

Harini is regularly asked to provide expert legal comment to the media including, most recently, Sky News, LBC radio and for the Independent newspaper.

Further information is available at:

David Ruebain

David is the Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit. He is a member of the Advisory Group of OFFA (the Office for Fair Access), an equality adviser to the English FA Premier League, a Trustee of ADD (Action on Disability and Development), a member of the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Member of the Editorial Board of Disability and Society journal and a Fellow of the British American Project.

David was a practicing solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and before that as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors.

David has published widely and taught nationally and internationally on education, disability and equality law and has been involved in numerous voluntary organisations, drafting Private Members Bills and in making oral representations to Committees of Parliament.

David is an author and editor and is the winner of RADAR’s People of the Year Award for Achievement in the Furtherance of Human Rights of Disabled People in the UK, 2002.  He was also shortlisted for the Law Society’s Gazette Centenary Award for Lifetime Achievement – Human Rights, in November 2003. In August 2006, David was listed as one of 25 Most Influential Disabled People in the UK by Disability Now Magazine in 2013, listed in the Disability News Service’s ‘Influence Index’ and listed in the first and current Disability Power List, 2014 and 2015.

Further information is available at:

Christine Werrell, Secretary to the Review Panel

Christine Werrell is Head of Disability and Equality with the Student Support and Wellbeing Division, part of Academic and Student Support Services, Cardiff University.

Christine has worked in the field of equality and diversity for sixteen years and has an MSc in Equality and Diversity. In addition to her responsibility for managing the University's Disability and Dyslexia Service, Christine co-ordinates the network of Academic School Disability Contacts, is an attending officer of the Equality and Diversity Committee and a member of the Admissions Sub-Committee.

Christine leads on the ‘Designing and Developing an Accessible Curriculum’ module as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning and was a member of the University’s Inclusive Curriculum Working Group. This group identified barriers and disadvantage to students with protected characteristics within curriculum design. Christine is a member of the University LGBT Working Group.

Christine has been elected as a Director for the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) since 2013. This is a national organisation committed to improving the professional development and practice of disability practitioners in further and higher education. As an NADP board member she has recently been working with colleagues on representations to UK government regarding their proposed changes to Disabled Students Allowances (DSA).

Prior to her current role at Cardiff University Christine was the Disability Co-ordinator at the University Wales College of Medicine. This role included supporting the College in preparing for the new duties of the Special Educational Needs Act (2001) and acting as the Secretary to the Disability Working Group for UWCM. Her responsibilities included organising an all Wales conference for clinical educators on reasonable adjustments in clinical practice.