The University has a small and friendly campus which we hope you will find matches up to its aim to be fully inclusive. In order to advance equality the University has a standing equality item on all committee agendas to represent staff and students' interests with regard to inclusivity. In addition, I work closely with colleagues across the campus to help meet the needs of individuals and groups as well as ensuring the University meets its legislative requirements. The University works in partnerships across the higher education sector with other Universities and organisations such as the Equality Challenge Unit to ensure it is pro-actively working to eliminate discrimination and enhance equality of opportunity.
The University also has other policies in place which are there to protect staff and students from harassment and bullying, further details of these policies are available through our staff intranet HR pages or through the student life pages (within our Student Regulations). Our policies make it clear that any kind of bullying and harassment will not be tolerated including that related to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability.
However responsibility for good practice in equality and diversity is the responsibility of all of our community and we hope that you will find the University to be an inclusive and fair place. If you struggle with any aspect of the facilities or services as a student, as a member of staff or as a visitor please contact us to let us know how we can improve (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The University signed up to the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme in June 2013. Stonewall are the leading professional lobbying and campaigning organisation for lesbian, gay and bisexual people and the Diversity Champion programme is the good practice employer’s forum on sexual orientation.
“Signing up to the programme builds on our work in relation to the ‘Positive about Disabled People’ and ‘Investors in People’ standards in creating a culture where diversity is respected and valued and employment is fair and inclusive.” Lucy Pengelly, Head of Human Resources.
“Joining this programme shows our commitment to inclusivity, whether this is in helping students to achieve their greatest potential or in providing a supportive and fulfilling working environment for staff. Access to the best practice advice and resources from Stonewall and the employer network ensures we remain a great place to work and this will have a positive effect on the whole community.” Lynda Tout, Inclusion Co-ordinator
The University also has accreditations for Disability Two Tick and Mindful Employer. Both of these schemes encourage disabled people into employment and the University is pleased to say that it will offer a guaranteed interview to all potential staff who meet the minimum criteria.
Students benefit from the Student Support service which is Matrix accredited which is the quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services. Within Student Support is the Disability and Inclusion Advice Service (DIAS). DIAS help students with a range of inclusion issues which can include those related to disability, poor mental health, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender transitioning and pregnancy.
In 2014, the University also launched their mental health awareness action plan through taking the 'Time to Change' mental health organisational pledge to end discrimination against people who have or have had poor mental health. A number of workshops were held for staff in December on a range of mental health illnesses and resources made available. This is supported by regular 'tea and talks', short informal get-togethers for the whole community to pick up resources, take 5 minutes away from a busy study/work life and share tips for leading a healthy life.
In terms of equality training all new staff to the University receive mandatory training and development on equality and diversity covering specifically the areas of:-
Staff are encouraged to follow their initial equality training with appropriate and relevant development according to their role in the University. With regard to academic staff, this will include accessing the Higher Education Academy's inclusivity resources and for all staff, this will include accessing resources from the Equality Challenge Unit.
The Student Union President and Deputy, our Senior Resident Students and our Student Ambassadors are also required to attend equality training to ensure the service they provide to students fully meets the need to provide an inclusive student experience. The equality training delivered raises awareness specifically on individuals and groups of students who may be struggling to settle into University due to a wide range of issues which include disability, mental health and sexual orientation.
Each year, we plan in further optional training on equality for staff, this will usually explore a specific area further. Last year the focus was on mental health and a number of staff took the opportunity to attend workshops exploring various mental health conditions.
Training and development is supplemented by a number of awareness raising or celebratory events in the calendar such as Black History Month, Disability Day, LGBT Month, International Women's Day, Mental Health Awareness week and Multi-Faith Week.
The University encourages feedback from all within the community to help improve inclusivity. There are several groups and forums for equality issues to be raised at:-
If you would like to get involved with the work of any of the above, please let us know or just turn up to a Forum or meeting. We are always pleased to welcome new faces to forums. Alternatively we have a Marjon Diversity facebook page which you can engage with.