Statement from Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester

“During the last week, I have been reflecting on the killing of George Floyd, an African-American, by a white police officer, and on the resulting, understandable anger and frustration this has caused around the world. It fills me, as it has done many others, with great concern and sadness and further strengthens my resolve to stand against all forms of racism and discrimination. The University of Leicester has a proud history as one of the most diverse universities in the UK, with nearly half our students coming from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background.

“I have pledged to set the standard for diversity and inclusion in higher education, to eliminate the awarding gap for black students, to address the chronic absence of black higher education academic staff and to work with our staff and Students’ Union to decolonise our curriculum. We will work in collaboration with others to drive these initiatives forward, but I am also conscious that there is more we need to do to become a truly inclusive university.

“We will only make a positive difference if we work together to highlight, challenge and address discrimination in its many forms.

“I would like to share with you a response to the Black Lives Matter movement from our sociology and race expert Dr Paul Campbell.”