The Reporter
Issue 488, 24 February 2003
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University more diverse than the nation


Over five percent of University staff are disabled and 11 percent are from ethnic minorities, according to a recent survey by the equality unit, under the University’s diversity plan. This compares to recent census figures showing nine percent of the UK population is from ethnic minorities.

Head of equal opportunities, Judith Russell, said: “Under new HEFCE regulations, all universities must set targets for improving participation by under-represented groups, and show how those targets will be achieved. The data we’ve collected gives us a clear baseline to set those targets.”

Since the equality unit was established twelve months ago, much has already been set in motion. The University has a new policy statement on equality and diversity, and new codes of practice drawn up and in preparation. The University-wide diversity plan introduces extensive training for all staff, especially those involved in recruitment and promotion panels, admissions tutors and those involved in other front line work with students or in student welfare.

A restructured equality committee, taking over from the equal opportunities and student equal opps committees, has been broadened to include under-represented groups. Faculties are to appoint diversity officers, set up equality committees and produce three-year diversity plans. Lyndsey Fawkes, the new equality and diversity adviser, joins the University from a community arts background to work with faculties and departments in taking the equality agenda forward.


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