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Universities & Black Lives Matter, Three Years On

by Osaro Otobo, Lenrick Greaves | Oct 9, 2023 | News, People & Culture, Strategy & Transformation

Project background and information

The murder of George Floyd on May 25 2020 triggered a worldwide response and boosted momentum behind the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Pressure has been rightly placed on all of society to ask what part everyone can play to become actively anti-racist. The higher education sector is being held accountable to highlight its part in systemic racism and to consider what can be done to be an anti-racist sector.

In November 2020, Halpin published a report on how UK universities responded to Black Lives Matter and held a webinar to launch and discuss the report. Interviews and surveys with key stakeholders allowed us to provide recommendations for best practice moving forward.

Now in 2023, three years on, the time has come to reflect on what progress has been made and to discover if any meaningful change has happened.

Revisiting the research will help HE to learn from successes and mistakes, and allow the sector to move closer to being anti-racist.

Who will be undertaking the review?

Halpin Partnership (Halpin) is a specialist higher education consultancy. This review is being carried out by a Black-led consulting team; Osaro Otobo and Lenrick Greaves.

Ways you can get involved:

Interviews and Focus groups:

We want to uplift Black voices so we will hold dedicated focus groups for Black students to share their thoughts on anti-racism work and progress. These focus groups will take place w/c 16, 23 and 30 of October.

To thank you for being involved in the project, we will be donating money to the charity Black Minds Matter on behalf of participants.

If you’d like to hear more, or would like students at your university to get involved, please contact us.

Links to sign up for the focus groups will go live on this webpage and across our social media shortly.


We have two webinars planned; one in October which is a recap of our CASE Europe Annual Conference (CEAC) session. You can hear about the role that integrated advancement can play in driving anti-racism forward. More info here.

A second webinar will be held to launch the report early in the new year.


We are keen to hear from as many voices as possible, via our survey. We want to hear from you, whether you are part of an institution as a student or staff member, or you are outside of that space as a campaigner, charity leader, alumni etc., – all thoughts are welcome. Please fill in the survey here by the end of October.

Please note, all comments from our consultation are confidential. We will only record the names of interviewees and focus group attendees for the purposes of scheduling. Any comments from focus groups included in our report will not be attributed to any individuals.

Mental health support information:

If you are a student or member of staff in need of mental health support, please reach out to your university and students’ union for guidance and resources.

Here is some information and resources you can access for free:

Key related reports:

As part of the review, Halpin will be drawing on our previous research relating to the experiences of Black students:

Halpin is the home of experts in Higher Education and works across various services including, People & Culture and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). Find out more about our People & Culture services here. If you would like to learn more about this project, please get in touch.