USA visit to explore diversity and inclusivity in higher education

Nottingham Trent University’s head of HR Operations, Rashmi Patel, is to explore how universities in the USA promote inclusivity and diversity after winning a prestigious bursary.

Rashmi Patel, head of HR Operations at NTU
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Rashmi Patel

Nottingham Trent University’s head of HR Operations, Rashmi Patel, is to explore how universities in the USA promote inclusivity and diversity after winning a prestigious bursary.

Rashmi will undertake a study tour of USA universities later this year after becoming the second recipient of the UHR-CUPA Bursary, awarded by Universities Human Resources (UHR) and the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).


She will also participate in this year’s CUPA-HR conference, which takes place in Indianapolis in October.


Rashmi said: “I’m passionate about education and our collective capacity to transform lives and shape the future. My study visit will be based on the theme of ‘building inclusivity’. I see the CUPA conference and study visit as a unique opportunity to help raise awareness and intelligence of common global issues, something that is of huge value not just to me and NTU but also to a great many Higher Education Institutions in the UK and in the USA too.”

In her role at NTU, Rashmi provides strategic leadership and management for operational HR services. She is also an active leader on projects that support the University’s Creating the University of the Future strategy.

Rashmi will attend a minimum of three HE providers in the USA, and has already built links with institutions such as the University of Chicago and the University of Detroit. She will observe diversity and inclusion in practice at these universities, and how they promote the hiring of people from diverse backgrounds, races, genders and sexual orientation.

She added: “There is still a significant lack of diversity in organisations across all sectors. Addressing diversity and inclusion is a societal issue, a moral issue, and a business issue for us all. Around 14% of the UK working age population comes from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background and by 2030 it is expected that the proportion will be closer to 20%[1].

“Without action to develop inclusive workplace cultures, where people with a diverse range of identities feel able to perform at their best and progress in their organisations, we face an under-utilisation of talent.

“As a senior leader in the HR profession and Chartered Fellow of the CIPD I hope I can play a role in helping progress this change.”

UHR Chair Sandra Heidinger of the University of Strathclyde said: “Rashmi was the unanimous and clear first choice of the selectors. We saw this as a great proposal, including a clear plan for achievable learning around the visit, and a specific and effective dissemination plan for sharing the learning.”

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    Universities Human Resources

    Universities Human Resources (UHR) is the professional organisation representing HR professionals working at universities in the UK and Eire. The executive committee is made up of a chair, treasurer and secretary, and meets up every four months to formulate policy, and give strategic direction to the association. UHR works with bodies such as Universities UK, UCCEA and GuildHE to provide co-ordinated responses to consultations by bodies such as the Funding Councils and government.

    Nottingham Trent University
    Nottingham Trent University was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The award recognises NTU for its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has been awarded the highest, gold, rating in the Government’s
    Teaching Excellence Framework for its outstanding teaching and learning.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 28,000 students and more than 3,500 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    The University is passionate about
    creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of the its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    NTU is home to world-class research, winning
    The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its
    global outlook.

USA visit to explore diversity and inclusivity in higher education

Published on 25 May 2018
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