Current Issues of Equality & Diversity in           Higher Education                  David Ruebain      Chief Executive, ...
Equality Challenge Unit= Established in 2001 to promote equality for staff in  higher education in the UK= Remit extended ...
Equality Challenge Unit  ECU works to further and support equality and diversity for  staff and students in higher educati...
What we do•   Research and investigation•   Guidance•   Advice line•   Systemic change “beyond compliance”•   Chartermark?...
And also=   Biennial Conference=   Best practice=   Regional support=   Intersection with widening participation    (OFFA)...
45 years of legislation= From the Race Relations Act 1965 to the  Equality act 2010 and 9 protected  characteristics= Dire...
Equality of what?= Opportunity= Outcome= Dignity?
Some Challenges in HE= BME staff  ‒ Underrepresentation; marginalisation= BME students  ‒ Differential degree attainment= ...
Challenges (2)= Gender  ‒ “Leaky pipeline” for women academics  ‒ Male students attainment and pastoral support= Sexual or...
Students – ethnicityHigher levels of representation nationally= BME students increased from 14.9%  in 2003/04 to 18.1% in ...
Ethnicity and type of institution                                    (Runnymede: 2010, p.7)
Student subject choice by ethnicity
Student subject choice by ethnicity
The degree attainment gap                                             increased from 17.2% in                             ...
Students – disability Of those students for whom disability information was available, the proportion known to have a disa...
Students – Gender= Over the past 7 years, there has  been consistently more female  students than male students in  higher...
Staff - Race               The proportion of UK               national, BME academics is               slowly increasing (...
Staff - Gender= Overall 19.1% of professors are  women. This is more acute in  SET subjects at 15.1%.                     ...
Why do anything?- Business case – diverse institutions perform better,  particularly in a global, diverse environment- Leg...
Systemic change work• Concentrated on under-representation of  women and BME staff in higher education• Exploring culture ...
Building on Athena SWAN=   The culture of your department – self assessment=   Mentoring and career development support=  ...
ECU in a complex environment= Tension between “pushing the agenda” and  supporting compliance= Differing needs of the sect...
Contact detailsDavid.Ruebain@ecu.ac.uk7th Floor Queens House55/56 Lincolns Inn FieldsLondonWC2A 3LJTel: 0207 438 1010info@...
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David Ruebain - Current Issues of Equality Diversity in HE

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David Ruebain - Current Issues of Equality Diversity in HE

  1. 1. Current Issues of Equality & Diversity in Higher Education David Ruebain Chief Executive, Equality Challenge Unit
  2. 2. Equality Challenge Unit= Established in 2001 to promote equality for staff in higher education in the UK= Remit extended in 2006 to include students= Funded by the 4 UK higher education funding Councils, Universities UK and GuildHE= 19 staff, based in London= Since August 2011 working with colleges in Scotland
  3. 3. Equality Challenge Unit ECU works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education and seeks to ensure that staff and students are not unfairly excluded, marginalised or disadvantaged because of age, disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or through any combination of these characteristics or other unfair treatment.
  4. 4. What we do• Research and investigation• Guidance• Advice line• Systemic change “beyond compliance”• Chartermark?• Networks• REF, Research, sector specific work• Equality Link• Web resources
  5. 5. And also= Biennial Conference= Best practice= Regional support= Intersection with widening participation (OFFA) – increasingly important with changes to the sector (fees, core & margin, student “experience”)
  6. 6. 45 years of legislation= From the Race Relations Act 1965 to the Equality act 2010 and 9 protected characteristics= Direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation, harassment, reasonable adjustments= Equal pay, positive action, procurement= The Public Sector Duty= Socioeconomic status?
  7. 7. Equality of what?= Opportunity= Outcome= Dignity?
  8. 8. Some Challenges in HE= BME staff ‒ Underrepresentation; marginalisation= BME students ‒ Differential degree attainment= Disabled staff/students ‒ Disclosure ‒ Lack of support for staff as compared with students= Older staff ‒ Abolition of default retirement age
  9. 9. Challenges (2)= Gender ‒ “Leaky pipeline” for women academics ‒ Male students attainment and pastoral support= Sexual orientation ‒ Harrassment= Religion and belief ‒ Participation and access ‒ Accommodating religious observance
  10. 10. Students – ethnicityHigher levels of representation nationally= BME students increased from 14.9% in 2003/04 to 18.1% in 2009/10.= Increase in the proportion of BME students across all sub-categories, with the percentage of black students increasing at the fastest rate, from 4.4% to 5.9%.However:= Lower degree attainment than white peers= Lower continuation rates than white peers
  11. 11. Ethnicity and type of institution (Runnymede: 2010, p.7)
  12. 12. Student subject choice by ethnicity
  13. 13. Student subject choice by ethnicity
  14. 14. The degree attainment gap increased from 17.2% in 2003/04 to a peak of 18.8% in 2005/06 and was 18.6% in 2009/10. The attainment gap is highest between white and black students, where the difference was 29.8% in 2009/10.Source: ECU publication ‘Equality in higher education: Statistical report 2011.’
  15. 15. Students – disability Of those students for whom disability information was available, the proportion known to have a disability increased from 5.5% in 2003/04 to 7.6% in 2009/10.= First degree undergraduate qualifiers known to have a disability were less likely to obtain a first class honours or upper second class honours degree (59.9%) than those not known to have a disability (63.4%).= Of those declaring a disability, students who were in receipt of DSA were more likely to obtain a first class honours or upper second class honours degree (60.2%) than students who did not receive DSA.
  16. 16. Students – Gender= Over the past 7 years, there has been consistently more female students than male students in higher education.= Male students are more likely to attain a lower 2nd or 3rd class honours.= Male students are more likely to withdraw from course.= 52.4% of post-graduate student studying SET subjects are male.
  17. 17. Staff - Race The proportion of UK national, BME academics is slowly increasing (5.9% in 2003/04 to 7.0% in 2009/10). However – • UK national, BME staff are more likely to on fixed-term contracts • Less likely to be in professorial roles
  18. 18. Staff - Gender= Overall 19.1% of professors are women. This is more acute in SET subjects at 15.1%. = The mean and median salaries of female staff are less than for male staff in almost all occupation groups.
  19. 19. Why do anything?- Business case – diverse institutions perform better, particularly in a global, diverse environment- Legislation - compliance- E&D is part of core mission of research and teaching & learning
  20. 20. Systemic change work• Concentrated on under-representation of women and BME staff in higher education• Exploring culture change, not just support for individuals. Not just about “intent”• May lead to a framework or kite mark• Building on Athena SWAN principles
  21. 21. Building on Athena SWAN= The culture of your department – self assessment= Mentoring and career development support= Career transition points= Committee membership and development= Flexible working arrangements= Transparent workload allocation models= Core hours of meetings= Support for those on/returning from parental leave
  22. 22. ECU in a complex environment= Tension between “pushing the agenda” and supporting compliance= Differing needs of the sector from mission groups, regions, types and size of HEIs= Impact of our work
  23. 23. Contact detailsDavid.Ruebain@ecu.ac.uk7th Floor Queens House55/56 Lincolns Inn FieldsLondonWC2A 3LJTel: 0207 438 1010info@ecu.ac.ukwww.ecu.ac.uk

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