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Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Belief Group (RERBG)

The University’s Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Belief Group (RERBG) is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies and best practice with regards to race, ethnicity and religious groups (including non-belief). Specifically, the group is responsible for identifying actions the University should take to address and improve any issues which mean that BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) or religiously affiliated staff or students experience disadvantage.


  • Progress the University’s strategic priorities and actions related to Diverse St Andrews and the People Strategy, with respect to race, ethnicity, religion and belief.
  • Work towards the institutional attainment of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter Mark.
  • Coordinate the development and delivery of race, religion and belief related training programmes (for example, the BAME leadership programme).
  • Receive minutes and amalgamate information and feedback from race, religion and belief focused groups within the University, such as the BAME Students' Network.
  • Provide support in ensuring that the actions that pertain to race within the University’s equality outcomes action plan are achieved.
  • Promote equality for minority ethnic and religiously affiliated staff and students by providing input (via consultation) to the University’s plans, strategic priorities, policies and organisational and cultural change activity.
  • Raise internal awareness regarding race equality, cultural and religious diversity.
  • Work to identify potential areas of concern in University policies, procedures and practices.
  • Develop evidence-based practical solutions for the identified areas of concern.
  • Develop expertise and knowledge of racial, ethnic and religious equality issues.
  • Provide support in ensuring that the actions that pertain to the Prince’s Responsible Business Network’s ‘business in the community race at work charter’ are achieved.


  • Two co-chairs – preferably including Head of EDI, AVP Diversity, or both
  • Student representation – preferably including but not restricted to the BAME Student Officer and Director of Wellbeing
  • Staff religious representation – preferably including, but not restricted to the University’s Chaplain
  • Student religious representation – for example, representation from the University’s student faith groups
  • Planning representative
  • Human Resource (HR) representation
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team representation – including but not restricted to Project Manager in Equalities
  • Other membership to include a combination of academic and professional services staff, representing various grades, genders, religious affiliations, and racial and ethnic backgrounds

Membership terms

  • Group membership should be capped at 26 members.
  • Some of the committee members are in elected positions (fixed periods), and therefore it is envisioned that through the election process, the group will evolve naturally.
  • There should be no more than three members in the group from the same School or Department.
  • The group will strive to maintain a minimum of 60% (BAME)/40% (White) membership split.
  • The group will strive to ensure that the membership reflects a diverse range of religious affiliations.

Current members

Sukhi Bains

Sukhi Bains is the Co-Chair of the group, and the Head of Equaltiy and Diversity at the University. Sukhi leads on the University’s statutory equalities requirements, as well as associated accreditation initiatives. Sukhi liaises with external organisations on behalf of the University specific to EDI, such as Advance HE, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Prince’s Responsible Business Network, Business in the Community, Scottish Funding Council, and Universities Scotland.

Ruth Woodfield

Ruth is the Co-Chair of the group, and the Assistant Vice-Principal (Diversity) at the University. Ruth supports the University’s commitment to have equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the St Andrews experience. Her research primarily focuses on inequalities in the context of higher education and employment. She has particular interests in the experiences and outcomes of different socio-demographic groups in higher education and employee experiences in highly gender-segregated organisations and occupations.

Chloe Fielding

Chloe is the Students’ Association Science and Medicine Faculty President for the 2020-2021 academic year. Her main role as Faculty President is to support the Director of Education, the School Presidents and the Language Conveners. As one of the student reps, her role in the group is to represent the student voice and advocate for equality for all students.

Jasmin Hinds

Jasmin is a Project Manager in Equalities and works on various projects across the University to further embed equality, diversity and inclusion. Jasmin is also an Associate Director of the Centre for Research, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (CREDI). Her own research primarily focuses on the experiences and outcomes of different socio-demographic groups in higher education, specifically Black men.

Donald MacEwan

Donald is the Chaplain to the University, responsible for the Chaplaincy’s worship, pastoral care of students and staff, support for global students and for people of different faiths, cultures, traditions and philosophies of life. As a minister in the Church of Scotland, he serves as the Convener of the church’s Theological Forum, with a particular interest currently in eco-theology. Donald grew up in Glasgow and lived in Japan and Ireland before moving to Fife in 2001.

Akira O’Connor

Akira is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, and sits on the School's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is also a direct electee to the University Senate, where he represents the Life Sciences Constituency. Akira's research investigates how people use many sources of information to make decisions, for example, about what they remember.

Mairi Stewart

Mairi is the Director of Human Resources. Working with the AVP Diversity, she is responsible for the development and delivery of the People Strategy. She works closely with the EDI team to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across the University.



Alternatively, you can get in contact with any of the other RERBG members.