University of Nottingham – Nottingham, United Kingdom

There has been EDI work for already some years at the university for over 17 years (in 2006 the university got Athena Swan bronze, which is a gender equality charter). A pro-vice chancellor (leadership role within university) working on EDI set up the EDI team as it exists now. The main aim was to comply with national legislation (Equality Act, student access and participation framework).

In the last two years, various activities with regard to equal access/inclusion/diversity were carried out namely:
• (Policy) advising and guidance
• Lectures, workshops, seminars for students, faculty and non-teaching staff
• Public promotion (e.g. production of media content such as podcasts)
• Improving physical accessibility
• Improving digital accessibility
• Development of internal processes (for example recruitment)
• Creating tools and resources
• Investigating data

External pressures, such as legislation, but also students’ campaigns asking for D&I work and a more accessible university have motivated the establishment of the office.
As a public body there is the duty to align with the national Equality Act 2010 and the Access and Participation framework for students.
The EDI office is led by a pro-vice chancellor. There are six team members (full-time) in the EDI office, and each one of them is aligned with faculty, except for one which is aligned with professional services (e.g. library, finances, etc). Each EDI office team member also leads a theme, such as race equality or gender equality. Each EDI office team member works very closely with the respective Faculty EDI directors of the various faculties and schools in the university: each faculty and school has an EDI director, which is typically a secondary role that faculty/staff will take on. There are also Access and Participation Plan roles all across the university, which are organized separately from the broader EDI interventions (which are for both staff and students), and are more pointed towards students (specifically racially minoritized, disabled, low-socioeconomic background).
The general long-term sustainability of the EDI program does not seem to be that threatened. One challenge that can be identified however is that it is difficult to show how EDI has been making an impact and is therefore important. It is hard to measure the effects of the EDI activities in hard numbers and therefore more difficult to justify the importance of the continued existence of the program, especially since UoN is a very data-driven university.
Evaluation is carried out through online feedback forms; keeping track of (online) traffic; population/profile data provided by university statistics. Qualitative indicators: Feedback forms asking about people’s experience of certain initiatives. Quantitative indicators: Number of website visitors; number of people accessing online toolkits; number of attendees to events; available university population/profile data on diversity (e.g. staff racial diversity, gender diversity among students, awarding gaps, etc.) There are annual reports on staff and student diversity publicly available on the website. EDI used to have a widely available annual report evaluating their activities on the website up until this year. This format is no longer used because the EDI annual report was very long (80 pages) and not very widely read. Findings and evaluations of certain initiatives and projects are generally separately communicated to the community through the website.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Nottingham, United Kingdom