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Issue 483, 5 June 2002

Celebrating diversity

The University is proud to be a multi-cultural community, values diversity and is committed to a wide-ranging plan of action to tackle discrimination and promote diversity – so states a draft equality and diversity policy being considered by Senate today (June 5). It goes before Council on June 13.

The new policy – which updates our previous version – will promote equality of opportunity, access and support for an increasingly diverse student and staff population, underpinned by a wide-ranging action plan, drawn up by new head of equality and disability services Judith Russell.

Initiatives such as special access programmes and recruitment events will encourage a wider range of students to apply to the University. Careers training and development, policies on part-time working, job sharing and working from home will open up work opportunities for under-represented groups.

A dedicated equal opportunities office will be set up on the ground floor of the ESS building, which, should both the plan and policy be agreed by Senate and Council, could open as soon as August 1.

An equal opportunities team will ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support staff and students from under-represented groups, and to monitor and enforce policies on discrimination.

"Updating our policy to reflect the changing needs of our community is an important development," said Judith Russell. "The practical initiatives laid out in the action plan will ensure that the policy is implemented, and we hope to see real changes on the ground, in recruitment of staff and students, and in the support, help and advice they are offered."

The new policy will ensure the University is in full compliance with the Race Relations (Amendment) Act, due to come into force this summer. It will form part of the staff contract of employment, and part of the formal agreement between students and the University and all members of the University will be required to abide by it. Anyone who wishes to join the consultation process on the Act should contact Sue Harper on ext 36700.

See the new policy online


 
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