Championing equality, diversity and inclusion
Our vision is to be a vibrant inclusive community that inspires learning, develops potential, widens participation and ambitiously transforms lives. We strive to create a work and study environment which is not only free from any form of discrimination but actively celebrates and values diversity.
We’re committed to equal opportunity across the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010. Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) underpins our values and influences everything we do. Our University policies and procedures ensure that we promote and achieve our EDI goals, while our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group leads on embedding EDI into our practices and employee training.
Under the Public Sector Equality Duty: specific duties we are required to publish our equality information and objectives to demonstrate our compliance with the equality duty. You can view this information under the links below.
Ensure an inclusive campus, and learning and work environment for a diverse body of staff and students – proactively challenging discrimination or harassment
Ensure this through provision of an inclusive curriculum, community building initiatives, appropriate technological learning environments, and physical access to University buildings and facilities.
Ensure that the Dignity at Work policy and Grievance procedure is updated and communicated to staff, and monitor KPIs and staff survey feedback relating to harassment cases.
Ensure that the processes for student complaints are transparent and robust and regularly evaluate their outcomes and effectiveness.
Attract a diverse group of staff and students and provide equal opportunities for them to fulfil their potential
Create a diverse group of senior staff (Ac4 /I and above), focusing on the representation of BAME and female staff to ensure that their profile exceeds sector benchmarks.
Meet the objectives for student access and outcomes in the University Access and Participation Plan to:
- promote and provide equal opportunities for everyone to access higher education at Bucks, whatever their background or characteristics,
- deliver equal opportunities for all learners at Bucks to continue in higher education and succeed in achieving good degree outcomes, and
- deliver equal opportunities for all learners at Bucks to progress into higher level employment or further study
- improve EDI reporting so data can increasingly inform and address any differential patterns across the protected characteristics with regards to recruitment, progression and attainment of staff and students.
Increase staff and student engagement with EDI, ensure that EDI is central to all University strategies and academic/ management committees and that senior staff lead by example
- Ensure that EDI issues are discussed as a regular agenda item at UMG.
- Ensure alignment with Access and Participation strategy.
- Include EDI within the Bucks DRIVE values.
- Ensure that School / Directorate action plans include measurable EDI objectives.
Improve the support and processes for staff and students around pregnancy, maternity, paternity childcare and caring responsibilities in line with the objectives of the Gender Pay Gap report 2019
Re-write the Family Friendly policy and effectively communicate this to employees.
Ensure the curriculum and student policies accommodate breaks for maternity leave within courses and effective guidance information is available.
Ensure the Research Excellence Framework guidance includes robust procedures relating to special circumstances and family leave and this is publicised to employees.
Student and employee statistics for use in equality analysis etc are available from the links below.
Heidi is a web-based management information service that provides easy access to a rich source of quantitative data about higher education. If you would like further information about Heidi, particularly for statistics to benchmark against the sector, please contact Jeremy Dye.
We’re committed to addressing racial inequalities and creating an inclusive culture and environment where individuals are able to thrive, irrespective of their race or ethnicity. To help facilitate progress, we are currently working towards an application for ECU’s Race Equality Charter.
We’re committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter below as outlined by Advance HE (ECU):
Racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
In developing solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
Minority ethnic staff and students are not a homogeneous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of, and outcomes from/within, higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.
All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those identities should be considered wherever possible.
To achieve success, we are forming a self-assessment team (SAT) comprised of a diverse group of colleagues who will survey our staff and student population to understand issues of racial identity, racial experience and racial inequality. Once we have identified areas for improvement, our SAT will form a University-wide action plan to address these issues and make significant improvements. Achieving REC accreditation is part of a wider piece of work looking to understand our culture and advance race equality.
To support this work, our Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Braisby joined the Universities UK Racial Harassment Advisory Group in 2020, a group established to develop practical guidance for universities on preventing and responding to all forms of racial harassment experienced by staff and students.
In October 2021, we held a series of events to celebrate Black History Month.
Eight different events educated and entertained colleagues, students and the local community, encouraging them to discuss why racial division exists and what can be done to address it. After popular demand, the vibrant Radio Black returned, the first Race Equality Charter focus group for staff took place, and also a thought-provoking session on Critical Race Theory.
A Black History Month careers Q&A for students, featuring a panel of alumni from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, provoked a thoughtful discussion, while a public debate invited Wycombe residents to have their say on how the community can come together to eradicate food poverty.
A new Beyond BHM Book Club was launched at the close of the month’s programme of events with an inspirational poem called ‘Fury and Faith’, from Amanda Gorman, America’s National Youth Poet Laureate. Participants shared their reading experiences and discussed their favourite authors.
Once again, University staff visited Cressex Community School in High Wycombe to discuss Black History Month and racism with pupils. Afterwards, the students said they enjoyed the open discussion, hearing the truth and heartfelt feelings from others, and being encouraged to speak freely in a ‘safe space’.