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86 Athena Swan awards achieved in latest round

10 May 2021 | Advance HE Six existing award holders successfully renew and University of St Andrews School of Biology receive Gold award for the first time.

Eighty-six Athena Swan awards have been conferred by Advance HE in the latest round of results, including six which successfully used the new renewals process.

Heriot-Watt University is the first higher education institution to successfully use the new process to renew its Athena Swan Bronze award. Five departments with existing awards also renewed using a simplified application that focuses on reflecting on progress and learning from the implementation of their last action plan, as recommended by the independent review of Athena Swan. 

In total, 112 applications were made with a success rate of 78%. Two Golds, including the School of Biology at University of St Andrews awarded for the first time, 17 Silvers, including Glasgow Caledonian University for the first time and 61 Bronze awards were conferred in the March 2021 round of results published today (10 May). 

Tina Donnelly, speaking for the Heriot-Watt University Athena Swan Team, said, "We are delighted to have been successful in the renewal of our Bronze award. The new approach promotes longer-term strategic thinking. It has allowed us to better understand the conditions underlying our past successes, knowledge that will shape and support our future activities. It has also allowed us to identify fundamental barriers to embedding EDI across our institution, and pushed us to have the difficult discussions we needed to have as an organisation. We now feel better positioned to realise our gender equality ambitions."

Dani Glazzard, Head of Athena Swan at Advance HE, said, “With the expert input of the Athena Swan Governance Committee, Advance HE is undertaking a transformation of the Athena Swan Charter to ensure it is as effective and supportive as possible for the future.  

“The new and improved renewals process is part of the transformation and was initiated in the independent review of Athena Swan which took on board feedback from participants to make the process less bureaucratic and how it could be simplified and more flexible. I am delighted to see the renewals process has enabled six institutions to renew successfully without undue burden.” 

The latest round of awards also introduced a new minor revisions process, enabling applicants who narrowly missed the criteria to revise their application based on panel feedback and return to the Chair for assessment. Further Athena Swan awards may still be made to 13 applicants currently undertaking minor revisions.

Athena Swan renewals March 2021 round

AS awards

Click here to view the full table of institutional and departmental Athena Swan awards 

By the end of May, Advance HE will publish details of when to expect the completed Athena Swan Charter as well as key dates for engagement events to support the sector with the roll out of the new Charter.   Find out more about the Athena Swan transformation

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