Recognising that a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion is a sector-wide issue, we have made it our mission to collaborate extensively to share our expertise. 


We collaborated with St George's University of London on their new inclusive education framework. Our work involved an inclusive curriculum review and equipping staff with the necessary knowledge and tools to embed EDI principles into their teaching.

During this time we reviewed the graduate school's EDI data which revealed a lack of representation in certain demographics within their postgraduate cohort. To create a bespoke, tailored solution to improve representation, we surveyed staff/students on their sense of belonging, initiated focus groups, and started a working group. After a period of rigorous data analysis, research on other higher education institutions’ approaches, and sourcing funding, we created a bespoke, tailored programme aligned to the graduate school’s objectives called Equal Representation in Academia (ERA). This was successfully piloted at St George's in 2021 and has been running every year since, with continual funding from the alumni community. 100% of students have gone on to further education and research careers.

Our programme was described as an intersectional strategy by London Higher and offers a multifaceted approach to empower and retain diverse talent in research. Postgraduate awards said our programme was 'a benchmark for other institutions to follow'.
We set up a bi-directional cross-university placement programme between St Mary's University and St George's University of London, whereby students from underrepresented backgrounds, can conduct bespoke lab placements. This facilitates knowledge transfer and builds research networks, akin to both universities’ strategic visions. The collaboration started in 2023, is funded by BIG South London, and will continue next year.
In partnership with the Future Ready Mentoring programme at the University of Westminster, we facilitate mentoring for underrepresented students across a range of disciplines.
BIG South London brings together the world-class knowledge, expertise and facilities of six universities for the benefit and economic recovery of South London based businesses and communities.

BIG South awarded us with an award for 'outstanding collaboration in inclusive innovation' for our efforts to build connections between higher education institutions. BIG South have generously funded several of our projects. We also have contributed towards policy creation, via BIG South, to support the retention of local talent within South London.
Our alumni delivered public engagement workshops raising awareness of key scientific work, roles in science and the importance of role models.

Ektaa has some new partnerships and collaborations in the pipeline. Watch this space...

Latest Accolades & Press

“2Students from ethnic minority backgrounds often express that they cannot find role models from the same background amongst university staff.”

Group 3

“Students from ethnic minority backgrounds often express that they cannot find role models from the same background amongst university staff.”

Group 3