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Equality Audits

Advance HE Bespoke Equality Research Our bespoke equality audits are designed to help institutions identify where the challenges lie and what works within their own context.

Our bespoke equality audits are designed to help institutions identify where the challenges lie and what works within their own context. These audits not only provide institutions with an overview of how equality and diversity are perceived and experienced in general, but also allow institutions the opportunity to sensitively explore equality characteristics which may have historically received less attention (such as sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion/belief).

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Do you want find out more about our Equality Audits? Complete the form by clicking the button below and we will send you information sheets on our Bespoke Equality Research.

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Equality Audits infographic
Find out more about how the audits work and how they can benefit your institution

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Review at Edge Hill University - Case Study

Edge Hill University commissioned Advance HE’s research team to conduct a bespoke EDI review of its policies and to gather qualitative staff experiences.

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“Initially I had reservations about working with external researchers but these were unfounded. I particularly welcomed working in partnership with researchers who were familiar with the issues we face. The ease of contacting them was fantastic and I really was delighted that the final report was delivered ahead of schedule.”

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, UK HEI

The bespoke research questions

  • How do staff and/or students perceive and experience equality and diversity at the institution? Do these differ according to staff and/or students’ ethnicity, gender or other protected characteristics?
  • What do staff and/or students perceive as the key equality and diversity challenges for the institution? And what do they feel the institution is doing well?
  • How does the institution fare in terms of the diversity of its staff and/or students compared with national figures and similar institutions?
  • With regard to recruitment and promotion, how do the institution’s actions and initiatives compare to those employed by Silver and Gold UK Athena SWAN award holders?
  • What does Advance HE recommend to address the equality and diversity challenges identified? 

The research questions detailed are an example of the topics addressed in this work, but additional topics or concerns can be explored depending on the institution’s requirements.

Want to find out more?

Do you want find out more about our Equality Audits? Complete the form by clicking the button below and we will send you information sheets on our Bespoke Equality Research.

Enquire now

Structure

Depending on the needs of the institution, Advance HE will: (i) conduct interviews or focus groups with a cross-section of staff and/or students; (ii) administer a self-audit of recruitment and promotion initiatives currently employed within the institution; (iii) survey staff and/or students on their perceptions and experience of equality within their institution.

Stage one: Needs assessment and project planning

An Advance HE Researcher will schedule a preliminary meeting to discuss your specific needs, which research questions are relevant to your institution and any additional issues or questions that you would like addressed. Based on this discussion, the Researcher will draft a research proposal outlining the project’s method (eg use of focus groups and/or interviews, whether to include a survey, etc) along with a timeline and estimated budget.

Stage two: Recruitment and data collection

After reviewing the project proposal, institutions will be provided with recruitment materials (such as cover letters, consent forms, and so on) to distribute to eligible staff and/or students. For focus groups and interviews, those interested in participating will be asked to contact the Researcher directly in order to maintain their anonymity. Surveys will be online and linked to directly in the recruitment materials provided. If included, a representative from the institution will be asked to complete the self-audit assessment regarding recruitment and promotion initiatives.

Stage three: Data analysis and synthesis into a final report

The analytical approach applied will depend on the type of data collected. Most likely, we will have adopted a mixed method approach that will require quantitative analysis of survey data, as well as inductive, thematic analysis of focus group and interview data. All analyses will be summarised in a cohesive, individualised report for the institution. The final report will not only address the research aims, but also highlight what institutions are getting right and which areas may need improving. 

Although findings in this report should inform future equality and diversity work, responses to recommendations made in this report will not necessarily result in an Athena SWAN or Race Equality Charter award for the institution or departments.

If desired, the Researcher can present the findings to relevant staff at the institution in the form of a workshop.

Useful resources

The following resources provide data and analysis of equality and diversity in the sector:

Exploring leadership development for black and minority ethnic staff in higher education
Tracking the impact of the Diversifying Leadership programme was commissioned by Advance HE to explore leadership development for black and minority ethnic staff in higher education.

Equality in colleges in Scotland
An analysis of the qualitative data of the impact of age on staff experiences.

Attracting Diversity: End of project report
Twenty-one Scottish colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs) were supported over this three year period to research, design and test initiatives to address under-representation and inequality in student access and recruitment. 

Equality in colleges in Scotland: detailed analysis of staff experiences
An analysis of the qualitative data of disabled staff experiences.

The following resources have been created to share good practice and guidance:

What Works: Supporting Women’s Careers
A review of publications from Advance HE (formerly the Leadership Foundation) was undertaken to identify effective interventions to support women’s careers and to make practical recommendations to Higher Education institutions.

Increasing Diversity: University of Leicester
The School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester shares its progress on increasing the representation and experience of BME students on its postgraduate courses.

Reasonable adjustments: University of York – expanding provision of hearing loops
The University of York has sought to expand its provision of hearing loops.

Reasonable adjustments: University of Plymouth – the ‘inclusive student journey’
Academics, disability officers, educational developers, disability support staff and administrators at the University of Plymouth worked to develop thinking, systems, policies and processes of inclusive teaching, learning and assessment.

Reasonable adjustments: University of Derby – transition events for disabled students
The University of Derby holds a two-day transition event for incoming disabled students called ‘Get Ahead’.

Enquire about our Bespoke Equality Research

If you are interested in our bespoke equality research complete the form below, we will send you information sheets and be in touch shortly to discuss your requirements.

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