Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) presents complex challenges for the HE sector due to the importance of diverse perspectives across organisations for decision-making, fair representation, closing attainment gaps, mitigating unconscious bias, recruitment and retention, and the regulatory landscape access and participation (A&P) plans.
“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
How we work
Exploring and transforming practice
Our bespoke research audits and EDI consultancy services are designed to explore inequalities in student and staff experiences, considering how transforming practice by embedding EDI in all aspects of HE can help us to address them. Our work supports the recruitment and retention of diverse student and staff communities through targeted interventions.
We adopt an intersectional lens in our approach to overcoming the complexity of these challenges. Through bespoke research and audits, covering both EDI and bullying and harassment, we provide you with tailored data collection and advice, giving you a clear picture of where you currently stand and how to address any issues identified.
Our work aims to build on groundwork you have laid to further engage your staff, identify your strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement.
Our consultancy services aimed at supporting equality, diversity and inclusion are presented below. If you wish to talk to us about a tailored solution please complete the form by clicking here.
Supporting the success of Access and Participation Plans (APPs)
We focus on working with you as a critical friend and informed partner to enhance and reflect on your approach to inclusion across the student lifecycle. We recognise however that the new APP approach – centred on long-term targets, an evaluation culture, and a focus on ambitious engagement with issues such as ‘race’ equity, disability, and social mobility – presents complex challenges which may need specific support to tackle.
Projects are cost-effective and delivered as a focused period of activity – usually six months. They are grounded in sharing excellent practice, developing innovative approaches and assessing the impact of change.
Institutions involved in the collaborative projects benefit from focused support on key issues, a safe space to share challenges and build networks of support, and implement meaningful change.
Collaborative projects currently open include:
Bespoke Equality Research
Our Bespoke Equality Research helps institutions develop a clear picture of where they stand and help raise the profile of equality issues with staff. Advance HE delivers two audits for higher education institutions: Equality Audits and Bullying and Harassment Audits. Details of these can be found below.
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 learn more about equality characteristics that are sensitive in nature or difficult to address (such as sexual orientation and gender reassignment, for example).
Bullying and Harassment Audits
The sensitive nature of bullying and harassment means that many institutions find it difficult to obtain information from staff regarding their experiences. As a neutral third party, Advance HE’s bespoke research on bullying and harassment provides institutions with invaluable insight into the prevalence and impact of bullying and harassment, as well as recommendations for how to improve staff perceptions and experiences.
In-house development programmes and training
Designed, developed and delivered for your institution
We offer a suite of programmes and training solutions that can be designed to meet your organisation’s requirements, developed in partnership with you and delivered to meet your needs.
For over the last 15 years we have worked with institutions and organisations all over the world to build and deliver effective programmes and training to address the challenges that they face, or enhance their operations.
Our programmes develop leaders equipped to address some of the key challenges facing institutions, enhance the teaching and learning capability and tackle the method by which your institution addresses equality, diversity and inclusivity at all levels.
We have worked with a number of institutions to support equality, diversity and inclusion in their contexts:
“EDI is a freshly invigorated area for our institution and this review has been so valuable as it will enable us to refocus our intuitive approach using evidenced based lenses. We’re really looking forward to making differences where our staff tell us they will have the most impact.”
Vicky Bosward, Senior HR Business Partner, Edge Hill University