In this article, our Chair Tony Coyne talks to Professor Arad Reisberg who has recently been appointed Director of Social Mobility at the College of Business and Social Sciences (CBASS) at Brunel University, one of the leading academic institutions in our West London area.

Congratulations Arad on your new role as Director of Social Mobility at CBASS. What led to this appointment?

Thank you, Tony! The University invited me to pilot this role, recognizing my dedication and leadership on  social mobility during my tenure as Head of Brunel Law School (2016-2023). It’s  a fantastic opportunity to shape equal opportunities for our diverse and talented student body.

Can you define social mobility and its significance in today’s context?

Social mobility, per the OECD, denotes changes in one’s socio-economic status compared to parents or throughout life. It aims for equal opportunities, addressing factors like gender, age, and race. In the UK, low social mobility is a concern, impacting talent utilization and fostering an increasingly detached elite. It’s a central theme in our university’s Strategy 2023, reflecting our commitment to global engagement and community connection.

Why does social mobility matter, and what are the consequences of unequal opportunities?

Equality of opportunity is vital. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds face fewer chances to climb the socio-economic ladder, leading to a 20% income disparity in adulthood. Unequal opportunities hinder economic and social prosperity, reinforcing the need to break the generational income gap. The lack of movement in who gets where in society, particularly when people are stuck at the bottom and the top – costs the nation dear, both in terms of the unfulfilled talents of those left behind and an increasingly detached elite, disinterested in improvements that benefit the rest of society.

What’s the current state of social mobility in the UK, and how is the university addressing it?

The UK has one of the lowest social mobility rates in the Western world. Our university’s Strategy 2023 focuses on social mobility. As Director of Social Mobility, I aim to advocate for change, leveraging successful partnerships like Brunel Law School’s collaboration with leading City Law firm Macfarlanes, recognized for its unique training scholarship addressing socio-economic barriers.

How will you drive social mobility initiatives within CBASS?

I’ll collaborate with the West London community, engage alumni for mentoring opportunities, and lead local projects addressing key issues. I will champion and encourage ideas and partnerships from the CBASS community to collectively bring about positive change.

Any specific projects or partnerships to enhance social mobility at CBASS?

Building on successful models like the Macfarlanes partnership and BARBRI-Brunel Law School scholarships, I aim to explore new opportunities with the community, alumni, and colleagues. Collaboration is key, and I welcome any ideas or plans to make a meaningful impact on social mobility within CBASS and the broader university community and beyond. Please reach out to me directly at: