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Equalitylink July 2015


Welcome July 2015

Equality Challenge Unit works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education across all four nations of the UK, and in colleges in Scotland. Equalitylink is a monthly round-up of equality and diversity news, resources and ECU’s work with the sector.

Equality update

ECU’s subscription offer for England and Northern Ireland announced

After consultation with the sector, ECU are delighted to share details of our subscription package for higher education institutions in England and Northern Ireland.

About ECU’s subscription package – your partners in advancing equality and diversity

We’ll be an authoritative voice, keeping you in the picture when it comes to emerging policy, legislation or national trends affecting the sector.

ECU acts on your behalf to deliver a unique overview of equality and diversity issues across the country. Our statistical research and reports are the nationally recognised standard for framing the conversation within higher education, and ECU is an authoritative voice amongst MPs, sector bodies, and the national press.

We’ll support you in addressing your institution’s specific equality needs

ECU is dedicated to meeting the needs of the sector. We’re keen to find out what’s going on within your institution so we can support you to achieve your own aims and objectives relating to equality and diversity.

We’ll build a supported community of good practice across the higher education sector

ECU harnesses the collective expertise of the sector’s equality and diversity professionals so together we can create a strong knowledge base and sustainable network committed to sharing resources, exchanging ideas and promoting good practice.

Find out about the services and benefits we will be offering, how we responded to your feedback, and for details on how to subscribe for 2016,

If you have any questions about the subscription model that aren’t covered on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the ECU team.

Athena SWAN appoints new patrons for ten-year anniversary

Athena SWAN Charter celebrates ten years of gender equality

ECU is pleased to announce the appointments of Professor Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, Professor Helen Beebee and Professor Sir Cary Cooper as patrons of the Athena SWAN charter mark. They will join Professor Dame Julia Higgins, who continues in her role as patron.

The Athena SWAN Charter turned ten this month, holding a celebration event at King’s College London to welcome the new patrons and to announce the new Gold criteria.

Read our tenth anniversary blog, including video contributions from our new patrons.

First black woman to lead a UK university

Baroness Amos appointed Director of SOAS, University of London

Former Cabinet minister, Baroness Amos was appointed the next Director of SOAS, University of London this month. Baroness Amos has already used her platform to raise the issue of under-representation of black and female academics in senior roles and has called for institutions in the UK to do more to emulate the US efforts to increase diversity.

The first black woman to lead a UK university has called on higher education in the country to emulate US efforts to increase ethnic diversity in senior management roles.

ECU has recently released research into the push and pull factors causing BME academics to consider leaving the UK. This builds on previous work looking at the experience of BME staff in higher education.

Academic flight: how to encourage black and minority ethnic academics to stay in UK higher education

Experience of black and minority ethnic staff in HE in England

Gender pay gap persists for female university leaders

Women in university leadership are paid up to 11.4 per cent less than men in equivalent jobs, a major new study says.

The report is by the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) Working Group on Gender Pay, which includes representation from ECU.

Female vice-chancellors and principals earn 5.4 per cent less on average than male peers, while the pay gap rises to 10 per cent when deputy and pro vice-chancellors, registrars and chief operating officers are considered, says the joint report by employers and trade unions in higher education.

The pay gap for heads of schools or departments is also significant, ranging from 5.3 per cent for centres with 51 to 100 staff to 11.4 per cent for centres with 50 or fewer staff.

Gender Pay Working Group Report

Our work

Job vacancy: Senior Policy Adviser (Colleges)

ECU is currently seeking to recruit a Senior Policy Adviser (Colleges) to lead on the delivery of projects and work relating to ECU’s work with colleges in Scotland, including a project on equality for college staff investigating career progression, pay and retention.

The post will be based in ECU’s office in Edinburgh, but travel around Scotland and occasional travel to the ECU office in London will be required.

The deadline for applications is Monday 14 September at 12 noon.

Apply for Senior Policy Adviser (Colleges)

Equality in further education


Just over six months ago, a range of providers began work on Skills Funding Agency (SFA)-funded initiatives to support learners from all backgrounds participate and achieve in further education.

After two successful knowledge exchange events, Senior Policy Adviser Chris Brill has reflected on what lessons have been learnt through the Good Practice Fund.

Equality in further education: tailor messages, develop partnerships and be disruptive

To keep up to date with all our work, follow us on Twitter @EqualityinHE

Get involved

ECU are seeking arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law Charter panellists

Participating in an equality charter mark

panel gives you an invaluable experience of the assessment process.

You will come away with a detailed understanding of how panels work, and insight into how other institutions analyse their data and make progress on their action plan.

Reading through a range of applications will also give you plenty of good practice ideas you may wish to consider implementing in your institution.

Being on a panel member also gives you an opportunity to build your professional networks and share learning among peers.

We are always seeking panellists with the following roles and specialisms:

  • Academics from arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments
  • Men from a broad range of roles across institutions

More information about becoming a panellist

CaSE calls for evidence on impact of immigration on UK science and engineering

The Campaign for Science and Engineering has launched a survey asking for evidence of the impact of immigration on UK science and engineering, and the UK’s ability to attract the best scientists and engineers from around the world.

They are seeking views and experiences to inform research and recommendations for Government and for a report they will be publishing next year.

The deadline for responses is Friday 14th August.

Immigration and its impact on UK science and engineering

Join your local equality network

Equality and diversity practitioners often work in isolation. Practitioner networks are a good way of finding local peer support and sharing good practice.

Practitioner networks are made up of representatives with responsibility for equality and diversity from higher education institutions in a particular region.

Find your local network meeting and information about other national and regional networksMore information about becoming a panellist

Resources and support

New OFFA briefing on disability

The Office for Fair Access has launched a series of web-based ‘topic briefings’ designed to support staff in universities and colleges working to improve access to higher education.

The latest briefing gives an overview of current challenges around access, success and progression for disabled students and explains how universities and colleges are working to support disabled students through their access agreements.

Earlier this year, OFFA also released a briefing on supporting mature learners.

OFFA topic briefing: disability

New report into the destinations of disabled graduates

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services has produced the latest edition of ‘What Happens Next: A Report on the First Destinations of Disabled Graduates’

The report aims to challenge widely-established views on the opportunities available to disabled students, analysing the destinations of disabled graduates and their experiences in finding a job.

At the end of last year, ECU published research looking at what support practices exist across HEIs to help disabled students find employment.

Supporting disabled students’ transitions from higher education into employment


What Happens Next: A Report on the First Destinations of Disabled Graduates 

Major new report on managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace

The EHRC’s #worksforme campaign on managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace was launched this month. Their research shows that while many employers are supportive of women who are pregnant or on maternity leave, many women report discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal: women returning to work after a child are more likely to face discrimination than they were ten years ago.

Over the next few weeks the #worksforme campaign will showcase useful guidance aimed at making pregnancy and maternity work.

Managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace

Critical race theory articles

Taylor & Francis offer free access to their critical race theory in education collection online. Articles, which look at a range of topics between school and university age, may be of use for research but also of interest for wider reading.


Share your events on Twitter

If you’d like us to help promote your equality events, tweet us @EqualityinHE.

Counterterrorism: policy into practice

14 September 2015, Bristol and 25 September 2015 in Manchester

This event by the Leadership Foundation with ECU, HEFCE, Universities UK, Council of University Chairs (CUC), Association of Heads of University Associations (AHUA) looks at the application of the duties set out in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” and their intersection with other relevant legislation including equality law.

ECU’s Chief Executive, David Ruebain will be delivering a plenary speech and trialling some guidance at both events.

Bristol, 14 September


Manchester, 26 September

Opening Doors Conference 2015

20 October 2015, London

This ECU sponsored event aims to bring together practitioners and academics to discuss the important issue of gender and education. The conference will be presented by the Institute of Physics and Government Equalities Office.

The event sees the launch of the Opening Doors report, which looks at the barriers to breaking down gender stereotyping in schools.

Pre-registration closes on 10th August. There is a charge to attend and places are limited.

Opening Doors Conference 2015

LJMU equality, diversity and human rights conference

4 November 2015, Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores University is holding a conference on equality, diversity and human rights.

The event will review the past 5 years since the Equality Act 2010; the impact both positive and negative on diversity, equality, and community cohesion and consider what positive changes could be made for the future.

ECU’s Chief Executive, David Ruebain will be speaking at the event.

Please note there is a charge to attend.

LJMU equality, diversity and human rights conference

Discrimination Law Association annual conference

26 October, London

President of the Employment Tribunals, Judge Brian Doyle has been announced as the keynote speaker for the Discrimination Law Association annual conference in London on 29 October 2015.

More information on the conference programme

LJMU equality, diversity and human rights conference

Save the date: Royal Society Diversity Day conference

23 November 2016, location to be confirmed

The Royal Society is holding its third annual ‘Diversity Day’, celebrating diversity in science.

If you would like your event to be featured on our website and the next issue of Equalitylink, please email details to Gemma Instrall, Engagement Manager.