a group of young people at a conference, young woman smiling in the middle

The British Council in Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy  have published a discussion paper on Race, Ethnicity and Change in Higher Education which is the product of the voices, perspectives and data presented at the event. Download the report below. On this page, you can also find resources from the event, including programme, video's and a biography on each of our speakers.

See below for video's from some of our contributors as well as biographies on all our contributors from throughout the day.

Dr Jason Arday

Dr Jason Arday is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Durham University in the Department of Sociology. Jason is a Visiting Research Fellow at The Ohio State University in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a Research Associate at Nelson Mandela University in the Centre for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation and a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Race Equality Thinktank. Jason sits on the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) National Advisory Panel and is a School Governor at Shaftesbury Park Primary School in London. Jason also serves on the Editorial Boards of Educational Philosophy and Theory; and the British Sociological Association (BSA) journal Sociology. He speaks regularly at national and international conferences, as well as public and community events.

Professor Anastasia Crickley

Professor Anastasia Crickley was chairperson of the UN Committee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination from 2016 to 2018 and an elected member from 2010. She was the first chair of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. From 2004 to 2008 Anastasia was Personal Representative of the OSCE Chair in Office on Racism, and a member of the Council of State from 2004 until 2011.Until 2015 she was Head of Department of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University, Ireland where she championed university access for minorities and marginalised groups. Anastasia is a founder of the European Network Against Racism, Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre and the Migrants Rights Centre, Ireland. She is a lifelong advocate for human rights - in particular women’s and the rights of minorities.

Dr Gemma Irvine

Dr Gemma Irvine is Vice-President of Equality & Diversity in Maynooth University where she leads the strategy on equality and inclusion for both students and staff, as well as working to expand access and participation programmes for all students of the University. Prior to this, she served as Head of Policy and Strategic Planning in the Higher Education Authority. Included in her achievements is her leadership of the secretariat for the Irish National Review of Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions, and the subsequent Gender Equality Taskforce. In 2012 Dr Irvine coordinated the formation of the Irish Research Council through the operational merger of the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. As Assistant Director of the IRC, she initiated the development of a gender action plan, a first for a research funding agency in Ireland.

Dr Michael Isichei

Dr Michael Isichei is a Lecturer in Management at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), a Russell Group university. He completed a PhD in Business at Dublin City University (DCU) at the age of 25. Prior to completing a PhD, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He graduated with a first class honours and finished first in his class. Michael’s research interests include biculturalism, global mobility, and global talent management. His work has been included in a number of books and academic journals. Michael’s work has also been published in specialist, practitioner focused magazines, such as Eolas, and Agenda, which aim to inform decision makers in the South and North of Ireland, respectively. He also has editorial experience, having previously served as the Managing Editor of ‘The Rising’, a magazine published by the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Northern Ireland.

Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty has since 2007 been Professor of Art History at University College Dublin; she was previously a professor in the department of architecture at the University of California Berkeley. Her work has challenged western-centric and patriarchal approaches to the history of architecture. In particular, her book Architecture since 1400 is a global survey, which also fully considers the role of women in commissions, designing and inhabiting buildings. In addition to her positions on the boards of scholarly journals and cultural institutions, she was for two years deputy chair of the Gender Equity Action Group in UCD and a member of the Athena SWAN Ireland Committee. She was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2011 and in 2018 she became the first woman to be awarded a Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal.

Dr Ebun Joseph

Dr Ebun Joseph is Career Development Consultant at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and a consultant on race relations. After completing her degree in Microbiology, she diversified with a PGDip in Adult Guidance and Counselling, and a Masters in Education by research from NUIM. Dr Joseph completed her PhD at UCD, on the subject of racial stratification in the Irish labour market. She is Module Coordinator of ‘Black Studies and Critical Race Perspectives in Education’ at UCD - the first module of its kind in Ireland. Dr Joseph founded and is Chair of the African Scholars Association Ireland (AfSAI), and the Unforgettable Women’s Network.

Gary Loke

Gary Loke is Director of Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery at Advance HE where he is responsible for leading on research, thought leadership and content delivery of Advance HE’s services. Prior to his current role, Gary was Deputy Chief Executive at Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), which he joined in 2008. He previously worked for an older persons’ charity on age-related policy issues in health and social care and for a rural race equality organisation. He is a member of the gender equality commission of the Swiss National Science Foundation and was a visiting research associate at the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity, School of Law, University of Chester. He has most recently contributed to Arday, J. and Mirza, H. S. ‘Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy’ (2018)..

Professor Anita Maguire

Professor Anita Maguire is Vice President for Research & Innovation, University College Cork, and Director of the inter disciplinary Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF), as well as serving as a member of the UCC Athena SWAN Steering Group. During her time at UCC she has contributed to the establishment of the School of Pharmacy, serving as head of this and then the School of Chemistry between 2009-10 and 2005-07 respectively. Professor Maguire has led an active research team  which has made several significant advances, many of these are key for pharmaceutical application, resulting in extensive interaction with the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland and internationally. Professor Maguire is the lead Principal Investigator from UCC in the SFI Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre and was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2014, taking up the role of Vice President for Diversity for the Academy in 2019.

Dr Rosaleen McDonagh

Dr Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability.  Originally from Sligo, she is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children.  She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years, managing the Violence Against Women programme, and remains a board member. She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and has written ostensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes Mainstream, The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings. Rosaleen was commissioned for a feature article in the Irish Times in 2012 responding to Channel 4’s series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In 2013/2014, she worked with Graeae Theatre on its WTP programme. As part of this project, she spent two weeks on attachment in The Royal Court Theatre. Her play Mainstream was directed by Olivier Award winner, Jim Culleton, for Fishamble and Project Arts Centre in 2016. In 2018, Fishamble produced Rosaleens' play Running Out of Road in the RHK to mark the first anniversary of Traveller Ethnicity recognition. Rosaleen has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, an MPhil in Ethnic & Racial Studies & an MPhil in Creative Writing, all from TCD. She holds a PhD from Northumbria University.

Megan Reilly

Megan Reilly is the current Vice President for Equality and Citizenship with the Union of Students in Ireland. After completing a degree in Commerce in NUI Galway, she spent two year as a full time officer in the Students’ Union; one as a Welfare Officer and one as President. Her work now involves focusing on marginalised voices in third level education. She is a Board member of the Irish Family Planning Association and the Irish Council for International Students.

Dr Ross Woods

Dr Ross Woods is Senior Manager of the Higher Education Authority’s Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality, which supports sustainable acceleration towards gender equality within Irish Higher Education Institutions. The centre was established in June 2019 at the recommendation of the Department of Education and Skills’ Gender Equality Taskforce, as part of their Gender Action Plan 2018-2020. The vision for this plan is that Ireland will be a world-leading country for gender equality in HE by 2026. The centre aims to work towards this goal by enabling data-driven decision-making, acting as a centralised support for HEI’s, facilitating the sharing of good practice and through targeted funding initiatives. One such scheme is the recently launched Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI), which aims to address the significant under-representation of women at senior academic levels in Irish HEIs

See below for the full report and the programme from the day.

If you would like to receive a print ready version of the discussion paper please email us at info@ie.britishcouncil.org.

We want to respond to the desire for change in support of greater diversity, equality and inclusion within the academic community, provide a safe space for difficult conversations, and help lift conversations and learning from the individual to the institutional level.