Leeds Trinity University hosts research network to focus on diversity in the North


The Northern Critical Diversity Network will focus on themes such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability and socio-economic equality in the region.

Female lecturer sat on bench in front of university building.

Academics at Leeds Trinity University have brought together scholars from universities across Yorkshire to form a collaborative partnership to advance research and education on major local challenges around inclusion, diversity and social justice.   

The aim of the Northern Critical Diversity Network is to work together to address problems of real significance, both in the region and more widely across the North of England, through collaboration on related research projects.  It provides a forum which will improve interaction, dissemination of information, sharing of research and fostering of academic discussion amongst staff and students from its member universities. 

The network is an interdisciplinary group which unites the diverse research interests and expertise of scholars from both education and the social sciences around themes such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability and socio-economic equality.

Currently, six universities are signed up from across West and South Yorkshire. Leeds Trinity University, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, University of York, University of Bradford and Sheffield Hallam University are the founding partners of the network which hopes to expand further to include other academics and member institutions in the North. Leading scholars from each institution are already actively engaged in the network’s collaborative work.

Professor of Education in the Institute of Childhood and Education at Leeds Trinity University, Sulochini Pather, is inviting other universities and academics to get involved in the network. She said: “Through the Northern Critical Diversity Network, members can communicate regularly, share knowledge about events of mutual interest, work collaboratively and seek funding opportunities to expand our portfolios of research. Our ultimate aim is to challenge perceptions of inclusion, diversity and social justice in the North, to impact policy and practice. Through our research, we hope to make a positive impact within the region.”

Karen Sayer, Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Trinity and Interim Institutional Research Lead at the University, said: “A new initiative, the Northern Critical Diversity Network continues in the tradition of Leeds Trinity University as an institution that leads on its mission and values for social justice, inclusion and diversity. Engaged in supporting the work of local, national and global communities, the network will also give our students the opportunities, skills and understanding to partake in active research with our researchers and to embark on their own research projects in the future.”

In November 2020, Leeds Trinity became the first University in Yorkshire to achieve the Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze award. In 2021, it won the Diversity and Inclusion category at the 2021 Whatuni Student Choice Awards, in recognition of its work to tackle race equality and champion inclusion. The University was also shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Times Higher Education (THE) awards 2021.

Read more about Leeds Trinity’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion on the website. For more information about the Northern Critical Diversity Network, contact the University s.pather@leedstrinity.ac.uk.