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Questions about the conference

FAQs about ECU's 2017 conference

There are 13 frequently asked questions about this conference.

If your question is not been answered below, contact our events team: or 020 7438 1010.

1. Who should attend? >

The conference will address equality and diversity issues across the entire higher education sector, bringing together higher education leaders, equality and diversity experts and representatives from national sector organisations.

The programme will be valuable for all higher education institutions, organisations and agencies involved with higher education, and for those in other sectors concerned with furthering the equality and diversity agenda.

Each of ECU’s subscribing institutions in England and Northern Ireland have a free place to the conference as part of their subscription package. The primary audience will be equality and diversity specialists in higher education institutions.

Others who would be particularly interested in attending:

  • Vice-chancellors
  • Pro Vice-chancellors
  • Governors and senior management
  • Chairs and members of equality and diversity committees
  • Human resources directors
  • Managers of student services
  • Academics and researchers
  • Students union sabbatical officers and managers

2. How many delegates per organisation can attend? >

Although there is no limit on the number of places allowed per institution, ECU is keen to attract a wide audience and ensure representation from the majority of institutions. Space at the conference is limited, therefore bookings will be allocated initially to one complimentary space for each of ECU’s subscribing institutions in England and Wales, and institutions supported through Scottish Funding Council Higher Education Funding Council for Wales funding to ECU.

In addition, a small number of paid for places will be available to purchase from Tuesday 4 July on a first come first served basis (initially one per institution). Once the paid for places have sold out, requests for additional places will added to a waiting list and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis once space becomes available.

3. Is there a cost to attend the event? >

Each ECU subscribing institution in England and Northern Ireland has one free place as part of their subscription package. This place can be booked through their named key contact. Additional places are available at a cost. There is a cost for institutions supported through Scottish Funding Council and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales funding to ECU.

Our full conference package offers the best value to delegates, which includes:

  • two day conference pass including lunch and light refreshments
  • evening reception and three course meal

Subscribing institutions in England and Wales, and institutions supported through Scottish Funding Council Higher Education Funding Council for Wales cost: £500

Non-subscribers and non-higher education organisations cost: £700

Delegates from outside of higher education institutions in the UK and colleges in Scotland who would like to attend are asked to contact the events team.

4. What does the price include? >

The full two-day delegate pass covers:

  • evening programme and conference dinner on the evening of Tuesday 7 November
  • lunch and refreshments on both days of the conference 

5. How do I register any specific requirements or dietary needs? >

We are committed to making this event as accessible and inclusive as possible.  Please tell us about any specific requirements or dietary needs when booking. If you wish to discuss your requirements with us directly, please contact the events team: or 020 7438 1010.

6. How do I book accommodation? >

ECU has reserved an allocation of bedrooms at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole for conference participants at a preferential rate of £124 +VAT per night.

To book a room please click here or alternatively call the reservations team on 0121 780 4242 and quote the code GEQUAL.

ECU has also partnered with the Birmingham convention centre to secure local accommodation at a preferential rate for conference participants.  Please follow this link to find out more about booking local hotel accommodation. Or alternatively please contact the accommodation event team directly on 0844 888 3052 to discuss your accommodation requirements.

Please be aware that the online booking site will close Tuesday 10 October 2017, however telephone reservations can be taken up until the event takes place (subject to availability).

7. What is your cancellation policy? >

Cancellations are accepted up to and including Saturday 7 October 2017, subject to a £50 cancellation fee. After this date, the full invoice amount will be payable. There is no charge for substitutions.

8. Can I send a substitute? >

Yes, if you are unable to attend the conference, but would like to send a colleague in your place, please contact our events team.

9. Do I need to do any reading in advance? >

No preparation is necessary.

10. Is there a dress code? >

There is no dress code for the conference or the evening session. You are welcome to wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

11. How do I get to the venue? >

Full location details and directions can be found on the Hilton Birmingham Metropole’s website.

12. Who do I contact for more information? >

Contact our events team by emailing or call the ECU office on 020 7438 1010.

13. Who is Equality Challenge Unit? >

Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions across all four nations of the UK and in colleges in Scotland. We provide a central resource of advice and guidance for the sector.

Our approach is evidence-based, using research to identify and change practices that unfairly exclude, marginalise or disadvantage people. This evidence supports institutions to remove barriers to progression and success for all staff and students.

ECU is a registered charity funded by the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Universities UK, and through direct subscription from higher education institutions in England and Northern Ireland.