Frequently asked questions on ECU's subscription package.
How much does subscription cost?
Subscription levels are determined by an institution’s total income in 2014/15. You can find information about your university’s total income on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website in Table 1: Income and expenditure by HE provider 2014/15 and 2013/14
|Total HEI income||Subscription level per annum|
|More than £500,000,000||£20,000|
|Less than £24,999,999||£4,000|
Which budget should we use to pay for subscription to ECU?
The budget used to subscribe to ECU is ultimately at an HEI’s discretion.
As ECU offers benefits across institutions for both staff and students, we would encourage HEIs to take this from a central budget or split the cost between a number of departments, including the OFFA-countable expenditure.
Where institutions incur costs for subscriptions to networks or services that support their access agreements, we are happy for you to include these (or a proportion of these) as OFFA-countable expenditure. This may include, for example, a proportion of the cost of Equality Challenge Unit subscriptions from 2016, where these services support the development of inclusive cultures for your students.
What is included in ECU’s subscription package?
What services and benefits will I have to pay extra for?
Subscribers no longer need to pay an annual membership fee to be a member of ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter. You also won’t need to pay an application fee for institutional level application.
An application fee of £500 will still apply for departmental level applications. This fee will be used to cover the cost of administering the Charter panels arising from departmental applications.
In addition to our subscription package, ECU offers bespoke services and training at a discount.
Who can subscribe to ECU?
Only higher education institutions in England and Northern Ireland are currently able to subscribe to ECU.
From 2017, this will include eligible independent institutions. To discuss if your institution is eligible, please contact Engagement Officer Jessica Brayne.
My HEI is in Scotland or Wales, why can’t we subscribe?
In Scotland, ECU has secured funding from the Scottish Funding Council until 2018. HEIs in Scotland will therefore continue to access ECU’s benefits and services at no extra cost. The Scottish Funding Council have also committed to subsidising the Athena SWAN Charter in Scotland. If your HEI is a member of our Athena SWAN Charter, you will continue to pay an annual membership fee and departmental application fee.
In Wales, ECU has secured funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales until July 2017 and we hope this will continue beyond this date. HEIs in Wales will therefore continue to access ECU’s benefits and services at no extra cost. If your HEI is a member of our Athena SWAN Charter, you will continue to pay an annual membership fee and departmental application fee.
I work at a students’ union, can we access ECU’s benefits through our HEI?
Students’ unions in England and Northern Ireland will be able to access ECU’s benefits and services if their affiliated HEI is a subscriber.
Students’ unions themselves will not be able to take part in our Equality Charters.
We hope to develop our work further with student unions in the coming years, in partnership with the National Union of Students.
Students’ unions in Scotland and Wales will continue to access and participate with ECU’s work as usual.
ECU’s Equality Charters
No. We understand some institutions may not wish to take part in our Equality Charters when they subscribe. For this reason, there will be no compulsory sign-up to Athena SWAN or our Race Equality Charter.
Our priority is to ensure our Equality Charters are accessible for all institutions. In the past year, ECU has been consulting with small and specialist institutions to further ensure that the process, support and training is all fit for purpose.
Can I continue to be a member of ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter if I don’t subscribe to ECU?
What programme of work will ECU be undertaking in 2017
ECU will be announcing its programme of work for subscribers later this year.
What happens if my institution doesn’t subscribe to ECU?
ECU will no longer be able to support institutions in England and Northern Ireland that do not subscribe to ECU.
This means you will no longer be able to access our equality and diversity guidance, resources and publications. We will also not be able to support your institution with any ongoing policy work or queries.
Current Athena SWAN Charter and Race Equality Charter award-holders in HEIs who do not subscribe to ECU in 2017 will only be in receipt of their award until its expiry. HEIs who do not subscribe to ECU will not be able to apply for renewal or for a new award.
A limited number our events will be open to institutions that have not subscribed but will be charged at the full rate.
Non-subscribers will also be able to access ECU’s bespoke services but again, these will be charged at the full rate.
Got a question that isn’t covered here? Get in touch