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Embracing diversity: black students

By ReslifeTeam 29 Feb 2024

Minority ethnic students make up over 60% of the student population at the University of Leicester, including a growing community of students from Black backgrounds. 

The ‘Living Black at University’ report was published in February 2022 by Unite Students and Halpin Partnership. It was the first research in the UK to focus on the experience of Black students in student accommodation. The research revealed how much work was still to be done within the sector to meet the needs of Black students and to create an equal sense of belonging.

The University is committed to ensuring inclusivity and equity in all areas of our students’ experience, which includes developing a culture of anti-racism. To ensure this, we are working closely with our Black students and staff to develop our services, facilities and provisions to ensure that any perceived and actual barriers are addressed. We want to ensure that our Black community are able to fully participate in the university experience.

In 2022, The University achieved a Bronze Race Equality Charter Mark award. The Charter is a framework which requires the University to monitor, analyse and implement actions to address the racial disparities across the student and staff lifecycles in relation to representation, experience, progression, and success.

It is important that our equity and inclusion work is not determined and bound by equality charters and their aligned awards, rather, that we use them to measure and benchmark the progress we are making. In collaboration with the Students’ Union, the University are undertaking a range of initiatives which seek to improve the representation, experiences, progression and success of Black students. These include the Black Student Experience Working Group, Black Leadership Programme for undergraduates, the Black Excellence Programme run by the School of Business and the annual Black Excellence Gala run by the Students’ Union

Black History Month

In the UK, we celebrate Black History Month every October. Using art, culture and entertainment, the month aims to explore Black stories both past and present to highlight the Black community. The month is celebrated across the globe with a view that Black history is to be celebrated and represented all year round!

Here at Leicester, our staff, students, and wider community have come together year on year to take part in these celebrations, with a host of interactive events, activities, and sessions to highlight achievements and cultural highlights within the Black community.

Find out more about what’s on this October at: 

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Feelings of belonging 

Sometimes as Black students we may feel we are not Black enough for Black spaces, and not white enough for white spaces - especially if we are not afforded the same leniency, to make mistakes or learn, as non- Black students.

Distancing ourselves from others because we don’t have a safe space can make university hard to navigate and a lonely place to be. When we feel validated, accepted, and valued within universities, we are given room to thrive and simply be ourselves!

You have a right to take up space, and create safe spaces for yourself. It is not your responsibility to make people feel comfortable. Other people’s discomfort is not your problem.

If you’re feeling disconnected, you’re not alone. There are many student societies for bringing together communities of Black students. Reach out to others in your circle or speak to our team in Residence Life. The University also runs a project called Standing Together to help create a more inclusive campus.

Find out more, or reach out for support, at:

Wellbeing resources for black students 

Black People Talk

Black People Talk create and nurture safe spaces for conversations about Black mental health. They provide a wealth of online resources and peer-support groups.


Black Minds Matter UK

Connecting Black individuals and families with free mental health services by professional Black therapists.


Black, African and Asian Therapy Network

Home of the largest community of Counsellors and Psychotherapists of Black, African, Asian and Caribbean Heritage in the UK.


 Black Girl In Om

Creating space for Black women with digital memberships and a free podcast.


The Underbelly

Wellness through yoga, with a community for everyone.


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Careers resources for black students

Career Development Service

See how the University can guide you to your perfect opportunity and access the MyCareers portal. The careers team offer 1-2-1 coaching, guidance and interview practice.

Open 09.00 - 17.00, Monday to Friday excluding closure days


ULSB Black Excellence Group

The Black Excellence Group offers a range of resources for students and highlights the achievements of individuals in the Black community. The group is open to all staff and students at the School of Business.


Black Leadership Programme

The Black Leadership Programme seeks
to equip students from Black heritage with the inspiration, support, and experience
to enhance their leadership skills and accelerate their professional development. Find out more on the MyCareers portal.

Black Heritage Future Leaders

Provided by Bright Network. Learn from and connect with Black heritage senior leaders representing over 16 leading global employers. 

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10,000 Interns Foundation

Championing under-represented talent,
at scale. The 10,000 Interns Foundation have created thousands of internship placements for under-represented groups to promote equality of opportunity.


Black Tech Fest

Three days dedicated to celebrating Black culture and its influence on technology. Convening Black talent, allies and the world’s leading tech companies to connect, network, and discover.


PwC Black Talent in Business Programme

A yearly programme to foster Black undergraduate talent. With interactive sessions delivered in-person over a three- day paid opportunity. 

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KPMG Black Heritage Talent Insight Programme

A yearly programme for students of Black heritage seeking an insight into a career in Audit, Tax, Legal, Consulting, Deal Advisory, and Technology services. 

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Reading list by Black authors

The University’s curated reading list for Black History Month offers a wide range of reading and audio material to dive into. Check out the list for your next favourite read.

You can also support the library through its Represent campaign, to help diversify
our collections or if you are a current University of Leicester student, become a Library Champion and work with the library to help improve the student experience in the library. 

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