Higher education is being challenged to become accessible, inclusive and representative of the society we live in. The voices calling for change are many and strong, the opportunities, energy and urgency likewise.
We want to support your institution to rise to this challenge and create places of learning and employment that welcome diversity, nurture talent and create sustainable change. We can help you remove barriers to education, employment and success, so that higher education can reach its full potential, and your diverse staff and students can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
Our work can focus on issues surrounding specific protected characteristics but will always take into account intersectionality with other protected characteristics.
Tackling racism and race inequality
Addressing bullying and harassment
Why work with Advance HE?
Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values as an organisation and provide the framework for the work that we do with our members and clients.
Our services are built on a legacy of expertise in equality, diversity and inclusion. Having worked with numerous higher education institutions, we understand the range of challenges such as ensuring senior teams are diverse and equipped to discuss challenges to inclusion, addressing barriers to career development for different groups; embedding equality considerations in decision making and governance; dismantling structural inequalities built on systems of power and privilege, and addressing unacceptable behaviour.
Case study: Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in the curriculum at Brunel
Brunel staff work to improve drop-out rates and awarding gaps for underrepresented student groups, with support from Advance HE’s consultancy expertise through a collaborative project.
How we work
Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion:
- is evidence based and draws on a wide range of academic thinking
- is informed by good practice from across and beyond the high education sector
- is in synergy with and support of Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter
- understands that inequalities are not limited to overt, isolated incidents, but are also an everyday facet of society, situations, processes and behaviours
- focuses on institutional as well as individual change;
- foregrounds the voices and lived experiences of students and staff from marginalised groups
- creates a safe space for honest and transformative conversations
- understands that engagement, confidence and skill levels in relation to EDI differ between and within institutions so we pay attention to the context, needs and well-being of those we work with.
Reviews and audits
To support you to understand your own diversity and inclusion challenges, we can work with you to conduct an equality audit. Our bespoke equality audits are designed to help institutions identify where the challenges lie and what works within your own context and to actively listen to the diverse voices of your students and staff. These audits not only provide institutions with an overview of how equality, diversity and inclusion are perceived and experienced, but also allow institutions the opportunity to sensitively explore issues that are sometimes less visible.
Depending on need, the audit may consist of:
- primary research through interviews
- focus groups
- policy and process reviews.
Learning and development
Whether you are new to EDI or want to build your knowledge and skills, we have range of programmes to suit your needs. Our open programmes provide the opportunity for focused learning with participants from other institutions, while our bespoke programmes are designed to meet the specific needs of your institution and are delivered on site.
The expertise of our staff and associates means that we can provide training across a wide range of EDI issues. These include:
- race equality and anti-racism
- dignity and respect
- leading EDI change
- EDI and the Research Excellence Framework
- trans equality
- tackling unconscious bias
- Equality Impact Assessments
- disability equality and reasonable adjustments
- challenging privilege.
Support for senior leaders
At a senior executive or governance level, whether you’re newly developing an EDI strategy, doing some blue skies thinking, or whether you already have more detailed plan, we can support you to sense check your direction of travel and help you understand what steps you can take to make your institution more inclusive and diverse, and addressing institutional barriers to equality. We can support you with: