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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


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Increasing Diversity: University of Gloucestershire

Published: 06/11/2017

University of Gloucestershire discusses lessons learned to date on project to increase BME student recruitment to Media and Teaching (part of ECU’s Increasing Diversity project)

LGBTQ inclusive curricula – University of Birmingham

Published: 02/06/2017

The University of Birmingham has produced a best practice guide on LGBTQ*-inclusive curricula as part of a four year funded project by Dr Nicola Gale and Dr Nicki Ward. Uniquely, this best practice guide focusses on the widest range of academic disciplines as well as professional services, and includes: terminology relating to gender and sexuality…

Attracting diversity: The University of Strathclyde

Published: 23/02/2016

Lessons learned It was enormously beneficial to have dedicated time and space to work on and discuss the project. It allowed for individuals from different parts of the institutions, with different perspectives, expertise and priorities, to collaborate and share insights. In addition, follow-up work has become more likely to take place. It would be fruitful…

Attracting diversity: University of St Andrews

Published: 23/02/2016

Lessons learned It is important to spend less time on creating an ambitious suite of long term actions and focus more on short-term project outputs. Background St Andrews is the oldest of Scotland’s four ancient universities. Aims By participating in the programme the university aimed to ensure that the working, studying and visiting environments are…

Attracting diversity: University of Dundee

Published: 23/02/2016

Lessons learned Consider looking at only one protected characteristic at a time. Attempt to ensure that the selected filters that have been used for the data report (benchmarked HEIDI data) are communicated throughout the report. The lead of the qualitative and quantitative groups should attend both working group meetings. Background As a ‘redbrick’ institution, the…

Attracting diversity: University of Aberdeen

Published: 23/02/2016

Lessons learned It is of paramount importance to work with student unions, associations and the wider student body when looking at equality and diversity in student recruitment. Numbers and data can show where there are gaps and inequality, but won’t identify barriers to entry for specific groups. Working with the students association(s) and speaking to…

Raising awareness on mental health difficulties

Published: 13/02/2015

Drama students at West College Scotland and Choose Life

A workplace audit: work positive initiative

Published: 13/02/2015

Firth Valley College’s work positive policy

Mental health outreach provision

Published: 13/02/2015

Edinburgh College working in partnership with NHS Lothian Community Mental Health

Mental health training

Published: 13/02/2015

Edinburgh College working in partnership with NHS Lothian

Collecting equality data from groups less likely to engage

Published: 29/08/2014

In some institutions male students are underrepresented in their engagement with counselling services.

Communicating equality data

Published: 29/08/2014

To make the most of equality data, it is vital that key messages are shared across an institution in order to improve service provision.

Effective data collection across a university

Published: 29/08/2014

Equality data is not always collected and recorded in the same way.

Designing accessible sports facilities

Published: 09/07/2014

University College London Union was inspired to modernise and improve accessibility of its fitness centre by a desire to achieve inclusive fitness initiative (IFI) accreditation. An accessibility audit identified a number of actions required before accreditation would be awarded. As a result the union developed a building programme to improve the accessibility of the facility.

Marketing sports services to diverse audiences

Published: 09/07/2014

To promote the any-body month initiative, the disability sport officer at the University of Nottingham developed an extensive communications plan to target the widest possible audience. Methods for engaging with participants included: the university’s website social media (Twitter and Facebook) university media (radio and magazine) flyers and posters email word of mouth through university contacts…

Training in inclusive sports services

Published: 09/07/2014

Staff training The director of sports at the University of Leeds arranged for sports staff to participate in a range of equality and diversity-related training events. This included an ‘equality challenge’ day for 24 members of staff, with particular elements focusing on sports inclusion. Student training Through a new initiative to ensure equality and diversity…

Sports services for the local community

Published: 09/07/2014

Team Durham at Durham University has established a unit of three sports development officers to communicate, engage, and deliver sport and fitness activities for the local community. This includes working with each of the 47 primary schools in Durham, and working with marginalised groups through initiatives such as Street League. Drawing from their success, the…

Understanding diverse sports requirements

Published: 09/07/2014

Disabled service users Due to a low level of participation the University of Leeds sports service discussed its engagement strategy with the university’s equality and diversity manager to develop a wider range of approaches to engagement. The university conducted a consultation exercise during the development of a new swimming pool from which the decision to…

BME staff network: institution 4

Published: 09/07/2014

[Institution] race equality group Aims of the group To raise awareness of race equality and cultural diversity at [institution]  To analyse staff and student ethnicity data to identify areas of concern  To help develop practical solutions to address issues of underrepresentation and low participation To represent the views of black and minority ethnic staff and…

BME staff network: institution 3

Published: 09/07/2014

Staffing Volunteer convenor: [name] Volunteer manager of BME portal workspace: [name] Membership Any staff member is de facto a member of BME network and can attend meetings. Access to the private Workspace for BME staff is arranged by the convenor of the workspace. Meetings Network meetings are held out of work time and this can…

BME staff network: institution 2

Published: 09/07/2014

The [institution] black and minority ethnic network The aim of the [institution] BME network is to provide an authoritative voice for BME staff in the university and associated companies. The network seeks to uphold the ethics and principles of the race equality legislation and work, with the support of the university, towards improving the career…

BME staff network: institution 1

Published: 09/07/2014

Name The [institution] black and minority ethnic staff network. Objectives Develop networking opportunities for BME staff within the [institution]. Create a working and learning environment in which all students and staff feel comfortable, respected and valued. Have a formal place at the equality and diversity committee where the chair or their representatives can feedback on…

Trans staff: Rachel’s story

Published: 08/07/2014

Dr Rachel Jean Pawling tells her story as a member of the academic staff in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London.

Trans staff: Emma’s story

Published: 08/07/2014

Emma tells her story as a professional and support staff  IT project manager at a Russell Group university.

Trans student: Casey’s experience

Published: 07/07/2014

Casey’s experiences as a postgraduate student at Central School of Speech and Drama.

Trans student: Kai’s experience

Published: 07/07/2014

Kai’s experience as an undergraduate student at Central School of Speech and Drama.

Trans student: Lily’s experience

Published: 07/07/2014

Lily is a student at Brunel University.

Senior academic promotions CV scheme

Published: 07/07/2014

University of Cambridge staff data has shown that women are underrepresented in all academic roles, with the proportion of women decreasing with seniority. Consultations over a number of years with female academics identified that those who were ready for promotion were often reluctant to apply. This reflects national and international research regarding women academics’ relative…

Senior gender equality network

Published: 07/07/2014

The senior gender equality network (SGEN) is a network of male and female colleagues committed to progressing gender equality across the University of Cambridge. The network was established by the vice-chancellor, who invited 80 senior administrators and academics (a quarter of whom were men) to participate and encourage engagement across the departments, faculties and schools….

Encouraging disability disclosure

Published: 07/07/2014

The University of Ulster has a proactive, multi-layered approach to encouraging declaration. Potential staff are asked to declare reasonable adjustment requirements on application forms, and are asked to contact the university if they need assistance in completing the application form. Applicants are also asked to complete an equal opportunities form, which includes a question about…

Reasonable adjustment guidance for staff

Published: 07/07/2014

University of Leeds has produced a booklet, Building disability confidence: supporting disabled staff, which is distributed to all current and new staff and is available on the website, providing detailed information on Access to Work and practical examples of reasonable adjustments.

Centralised resource for Access to Work funded equipment

Published: 07/07/2014

The disability adviser for staff works in the disability support office (DSO) at the University of Manchester and has worked to ensure the process of accessing Access to Work funds is streamlined and consistent for disabled staff. Although individual staff are responsible for applying to Access to Work, the DSO assists staff with applications, reducing the pressure…

Providing consistent support

Published: 07/07/2014

Cardiff University comprises over 25 different schools. Responsibilities are devolved to the heads of schools. The HEI recognised that this could result in very inconsistent experiences for disabled staff. Therefore each school now has:  a named HR contact, from a central HR team, trained in responding to impairment declarations a disability contact for each school…

Understanding staff requirements

Published: 07/07/2014

With 7.8 per cent of its staff declaring a disability, the University of Brighton has one of the highest staff disability declaration rates in the country. The university is committed to an open and inclusive culture in which disabled staff feel supported, and regularly consults disabled staff to monitor practice. This usually receives a 60-70…

Supporting disabled staff

Published: 07/07/2014

The University of Manchester and Oxford Brookes University employ staff with a specific remit for supporting and assisting disabled staff. Although the roles differ, typically these staff: provide assessments, information and assistance to disabled staff and potential staff (applicants) – formally and informally, and on a one-off or continuous basis – whether or not they…

Extending diversity monitoring for staff

Published: 07/07/2014

The equality and diversity committee of a university proposes the expansion of its staff monitoring process to include religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender identity. The aim of this is to: accurately assess the impact of the institution’s diversity strategy demonstrate how it is meeting the public sector equality duty The equality adviser is…

Breastfeeding: facilities and lectures

Published: 04/07/2014

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) provides rest and breastfeeding facilities for staff and students. A specific room is provided in a central campus location for rest and breastfeeding – the room has a lockable door and contains comfortable chairs with footstools, a fridge, a microwave, handwashing facilities and lockers. LSE’s policy…

Parent support group

Published: 04/07/2014

The University of Birmingham has set up a student parent support group to improve the services for, and to celebrate the achievements of, students with children of any age at the university. The group is open to anyone to attend as long as they are a student parent, and they can bring their children along….

Student maternity policies

Published: 04/07/2014

University of Leeds has a policy and associated guidance notes on supporting students during pregnancy and maternity, which is based on the following principles: avoiding less favourable treatment taking a flexible approach demonstrating a non-judgmental and sensitive approach enabling informed choices The policy and notes are designed to encourage early notification of pregnancy, and clearly…

Virtual learning environments

Published: 04/07/2014

The University of Hertfordshire recognises that using an anticipatory approach enables effective practice for all users. The university’s virtual learning environment was designed with accessibility features built in as standard, so students and staff can change the colour of the screen, size of font and layout, for example, to suit their requirements. The virtual learning…

Accessible lecture notes

Published: 04/07/2014

An HEI in the south of England has adopted a range of anticipatory adjustments in response to feedback from a partially sighted student that some course materials were inaccessible. This resulted from a largely ‘chalk-and-talk’ teaching style, which visually impaired students found difficult to access. The maths department subsequently designated a member of staff to…

Different assessment modes

Published: 04/07/2014

Coventry University ensures that different assessment modes are designed into courses during validation and review, to suit students’ learning styles. This inclusive approach avoids the need to make individual arrangements for disabled students at assessment time. In the medium and long term, this can be more cost-effective than making adjustments to existing examination arrangements.

Incorporating accessibility standards into building design

Published: 04/07/2014

The University of Salford’s estates and property services department organised an extensive reasonable adjustments programme (budgeted at £1,000,000 over the period 2008–11) to reduce the need for individual adjustments. By incorporating accessibility standards into the estates project design software, the university hoped to eliminate the need to carry out costly ad hoc alterations. Part of…

Provision of specifically adapted care flats

Published: 04/07/2014

Plymouth University has negotiated with one commercial partner that a new development will have two specially adapted flats designed for a student who will have personal care throughout the day and night. This facility has been provided specifically, instead of just a generally accessible bedroom and kitchen within a cluster flat. The specially adapted care…

Encouraging disabled students into sport

Published: 04/07/2014

How the University of Nottingham encouraged more disabled students to use its sports facilities