Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty requires universities and other public authorities to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

The protected characteristics referred to in the duty are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

Equality objectives and operational plan 2016-2020

To help us meet the Public Sector Equality Duty we have a specific duty (set by the Equality Act (Specific Duty) Regulations 2011) to publish in an accessible way by 31 January each year, information that demonstrates compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

We also have a specific duty to prepare and publish, in an accessible way, one or more specific and measurable objectives which we think will help us meet the aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Equality objectives 2016-2020

We are committed to being a University that is fair, transparent and visible that provides an inclusive environment to learn and work that operates within an inclusive culture.

The activities we have identified will help us achieve our aims, and will be embedded across the institution through new and existing initiatives. From these activities, we have selected three areas that require specific and measureable Equality Objectives.

The University’s Equality Objectives for 2016-2020 are:

Objective 1

Continue to work towards reducing the differential in degree attainment between White and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students

Our work on the BME Student Success project has identified that there is no one cause for the awarding gap. We have used data to inform us of awarding levels across different ethnic groups, and this has consistently shown that Black students continue to receive ‘good degree’ awards at a lower rate than any other ethnic group, and this was evidenced within our Race Equality charter submission. By setting this challenging target, we will be able to focus our attention on the reasons behind the awarding gap for this particular cohort of students and begin to identify and implement strategies to reduce the gap. We believe this will benefit all groups of students in future.

Objective 2

Increase the proportion of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff at senior levels (grades UH9 and above)

We believe that having an ethnically diverse group of staff at all levels will enable us to better meet the needs of our diverse student body, develop a talented diverse leadership and make us the institution of choice for staff and students alike. Through the University’s work against the Race Equality Charter we identified that there was an under-representation of staff at higher levels of the institution. For further details see our Race Equality Charter submission.

Objective 3

Increase the proportion of female academic staff at senior levels (grades UH9 and above)

Our work against the Athena SWAN charter has shown that women are less likely to be represented at higher levels of academia, and this can be especially discipline specific. By working with our academic schools in partnership with relevant central services we will seek to review our processes and ensure that women are able to reach all levels of the institution. For further details see our institutional Athena SWAN submission (PDF - 4.52 Mb).