Gus John to advise on Legal Education and Training Review

June 30, 2012 in Blog

Professor Gus John is to chair the Equality & Diversity and Social Mobility (EDSM) Group that will contribute to the Legal Education and Training Review

The Legal Education and Training Review is a joint project of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards. It constitutes a fundamental, evidence-based review of education and training requirements across regulated and non-regulated legal services in England and Wales.

The EDSM Group has been set up to give specialist advice and guidance: as part of its remit, the group will be looking at the recently published Discussion Paper on Equality Diversity and Social Mobility. Read the rest of this entry →

Black and minority ethnic staff face ‘disadvantage’

April 22, 2012 in Blog, Gus in the Media, Print

Read this article in the Times Higher Education's website

(This article was originally published by the Times Higher Education)

Efforts to promote race equality in higher education have petered out and had “little impact”, a conference has heard.

Speaking at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Leeds on 13 April, Andrew Pilkington, professor of sociology at University of Northampton, said the impact of initiatives to encourage race equality in academic recruitment under the Labour government had been “short-lived”.

Efforts to ensure gender equality far outweighed those to eliminate racial discrimination, argued Professor Pilkington, whose books include Institutional Racism in the Academy: A Case Study.

Diversity issues had “fallen down the agenda” in the past decade, he added, while the government now paid only “lip service” to race equality matters.

He quoted from a 2003 report carried out by Gus John, visiting professor of education at the University of Strathclyde, which said that “results suggest that many universities were still struggling to come to terms with what the legislation requires and that they remain on a steep learning curve”. Read the rest of this entry →

Forging a Future for Young People in London

November 8, 2011 in Gus talks, Speeches

The following speech was delivered at the “Young People and Opportunity: a Vision for London” conference, promoted by the Institute of Education, on November 8th, 2011.

In 2005, as part of the Canada-UK Colloquium on cities and national success, I was asked to deliver a paper on ‘Diverse and Cohesive Cities:   London in 21st Century Britain’.   This presentation draws upon that earlier paper and discusses the significance for London of the recent civil unrest and the Government’s response to it.

The key question addressed by the colloquium in 2005 was: “Are cities critical to our national success?”

My answer from the British context is undoubtedly ‘yes’.  Yes, because among other things the 8% or so of the British population that are black and ethnic minority typically reside on the inner or outer ring of the nation’s cities.  Their future is inextricably linked with that of Britain as a whole, they contribute massively to the economic and cultural development of our cities and if our cities’ success is not also their success, the whole nation will have failed.  I suggested then that if the urban protests that had spread across France as a result of the death of two youths who were being chased by the police had anything to teach us, it was surely that.

On October 27, 2005, two French youths of Malian and Tunisian descent were electrocuted as they fled from police in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.  Their deaths triggered three weeks of rioting in 274 towns throughout the Paris region and elsewhere in France.  The rioters were mostly unemployed teenagers from run down and poverty stricken suburban housing projects.  They caused over €200 million in damage, a conservative estimate some said of the cost of the 9000 cars and dozens of buildings, daycare centers, and schools they burnt down.  The French police arrested nearly 2900 rioters; 126 police and firefighters were injured, and a bystander died after being struck by a hooded youth. Read the rest of this entry →

Language and identity issues in the education of African heritage people of Caribbean origin in Britain

March 1, 2004 in Gus talks, Papers

This paper is the abridged text of a conference presentation in March 2004 in the City of Birmingham, England.

The conference explored the status and current usage of Caribbean languages in British schools and in social interactions and the conduct of business in the wider community.

The paper considers three main themes:

1. Caribbean languages in schooling and education;

2. Caribbean languages in the identity formation of British born children of African heritage and the relevance of that for learning and self development;

3. Caribbean languages as the first language of adults in their interface with social institutions and with other language groups in the society;

I begin with a quotation from two eminent writers in this field. The first is by Niyi Osundare, a long time Professor of English at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria:

When two languages meet, they kiss and quarrel. They achieve a tacit understanding on the common grounds of similarity and convergence, then negotiate, often through strident rivalry and self-preserving altercations, their areas of dissimilarity and divergence… Yoruba and English. I do not only write in these two languages.  I also live in them. I am close enough to hear their amorous chuckles and bitter bickerings. Poetry comes more naturally to me in Yoruba:  the words dance to the drum of the heart; the lines pluck their beat from the rhythm of the mind. Mediating all this in English is a problem which has long become a challenge. Read the rest of this entry →