The appointee will ‘advise the Vice-Chancellor on issues of race, racism and equality’SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Dr Nicola Rollock has been appointed as Senior Advisor on Race and Higher Education at the University of Cambridge. The appointment, announced last Tuesday (27/10), will last until 2023.

Dr Rollock is an academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace. She was recently included in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s list of ‘Black History Month Next Generation Trailblazers’.

She already holds a number of advisory appointments, including her role as Specialist Advisor to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Macpherson: 21 Years On Inquiry. This year she appeared as an ‘expert contributor’ in the two-part Channel 4 documentary The school that tried to end racism.

Her most recent work, a report entitled ‘Staying Power’, is the first study of its kind in the UK. It highlights the experience of the 25 Black British female Professors in universities and has been commented on across education and many media outlets including The Guardian and Vogue, with her new book The Racial Code set to be released next year.

Dr Rollock has been appointed to ‘advise the Vice-Chancellor on issues of race, racism and equality’. She will further work alongside staff and students in already established initiatives which ‘support the improvement of racial justice’. 

About her appointment, Dr Rollock said she is ‘looking forward’ to improving ‘the experiences and outcomes of racially minoritised groups’. She added that her ‘aim will always be to create a space where all can thrive irrespective of their racial identity’. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, also made a statement: ’I am hugely impressed by Nicola’s vision and determination. Cambridge is taking decisive steps in the right direction on issues of race and racial equality, but we have a lot of work to do’. 

This appointment comes as the University this year celebrated the acceptance of 137 black undergraduates; a record number and increase of over 50% on the 2019/20 intake.

A BAME staff network and ‘wide-ranging plan of action to improve racial equality and inclusion at the university’ were also established in 2018.

Varsity has contacted the University for further comment on the appointment.