Equality and Diversity

The University consists of a diverse body of people with different perspectives, values and attitudes. We seek to promote an inclusive environment where such differences are shared and explored; where any unfair treatment or discrimination is challenged and eliminated. In addition to promoting equality of opportunity and inclusivity in all our activities, we will also promote the principles of diversity throughout the University. Diversity adds other dimensions to the equality agenda, by making sure that the different needs of individuals or groups are valued and celebrated.

The University considers that this commitment to equality and diversity will assist in its strategic aim of 'promoting social inclusion and increasing participation in, and progression to, Higher Education’ by enabling all students and staff to reach their potential whatever their background.

The University will:
1. Aim to create an environment that is an inclusive place to work and study where an individual’s personal characteristics do not create barriers for them in any aspect of their work or study.
2. Ensure that all policies, procedures and strategies reflect the Group’s commitment to equality.
3. Expect all staff, students and visitors to treat each other with dignity and respect.
4. Expect committees and other working groups to have due regard to diversity of their membership and to consider the impact of their decisions on those with protected characteristics.
5. Expect all staff and students to ensure that they are aware of equality issues and take responsibility for their actions both individually and collectively.
6. Ensure that all of its learning and teaching provision is accessible and inclusive
7. Not tolerate behaviour which results in the creation of an intimidating and hostile working or studying environment.

The Legal Context

The Equality Act, which consolidates existing anti- discrimination law into a single legal framework, came into force in October 2010. In total nine pieces of primary legislation and over 100 pieces of secondary legislation have been incorporated into the Act, including Race Relations Act 1976, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Bringing these into one piece of legislation should make the law easier to understand and apply.

The Act protects people with certain characteristics, as follows (in alphabetical order):
• Age
• Disability
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Race
• Religion and belief
• Sex
• Sexual orientation

Under the new public sector duties of the Equality Act 2010 the University has a duty to publish a Strategic Equality Plan which sets out our equality objectives.