Gender Equality Scheme, 2007-2010

The Gender Equality Scheme is also available in hard copy and alternative formats including audio, braille and large print which can be requested by phoning 01865 (2)80459 or by emailing:

1.1 Foreword and executive summary

This Gender Equality Scheme aims to promote equality of opportunity for all men and women working and studying at the University, or applying to do so; foster an environment in which unlawful discrimination and harassment are not tolerated; and encourage full participation within the collegiate community.

The Scheme summarises the current position, identifies some examples of steps taken to promote gender equality and communicates the University's key objectives. It includes an action plan that sets out how the University plans to progress the issues affecting gender equality over the next three years. The key objectives identified in preparing this Scheme are as follows:

    1.  Encourage more women to apply for academic posts.

    2.  Continue research into the causes of the gender gap in final examination results in certain subjects.

    3.  Engage more women in decision-making processes.

    4.  Build on the existing framework to foster gender equality.

Much progress has been made in this country towards equality of opportunity, and Oxford has been active in this, from the foundation of its first colleges for women in 1879 (Lady Margaret Hall and the college of which I am Principal, Somerville) to the current programmes to widen participation in higher education. However, as the Gender Equality Code of Practice makes clear, the focus going forward should be on ensuring that outcomes do not reflect a gender bias. Some of the more intractable gender equality issues facing this University are matters of national relevance that confront all employers and providers of higher education. Whilst the public focus may be on equity for women, eliminating discrimination on the grounds of gender against men is also on the University's agenda. The Collegiate University will continue to strive to be a community in which men and women participate fully and equally.

Dame Fiona Caldicott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equal Opportunities 2005 - 2009)

1.2 Preparation of this Scheme

A Gender Equality Steering Group was convened by Council1 's General Purposes Committee to oversee the preparation of the University's Gender Equality Scheme and Action Plan, with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor2 (Personnel and Equal Opportunities) as chair. A list of the Steering Group members together with details of the information gathering and consultation are set out in the Appendix.

The key objectives have been selected for the following reasons:

  • They are proportionate to the remit and functions of a university of distinction in teaching and research; the focus is primarily on the University's roles as a provider of higher education and as an employer. Oxford also provides access to important cultural resources in its museums, collections and libraries and plays an active role in promoting education generally.

  • They reflect the key findings from the information gathering process (see the Appendix).

  • They reflect the views of the staff and students consulted (see the Appendix).

  • They are designed to result in measurable improvements to the equality of men and women and transsexual people.

2.1 Legal context: general and specific duties

The Equality Act 2006 amends the Sex Discrimination Act to place a statutory duty on all public authorities, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need:

  • to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment; and

  • to promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

This 'general duty' came into effect from 6 April 2007. To support progress in delivering the general duty, there is also a series of 'specific duties' set out for public bodies listed by the Act, including universities. These specific duties are summarised below:

  • To prepare and publish a gender equality scheme, showing how it will meet its general and specific duties and setting out its gender equality objectives.

  • In formulating its overall objectives, to consider the need to include objectives to address the causes of any gender pay gap.

  • To gather and use information on how the public authority's policies and practices affect gender equality in the workforce and in the delivery of services.

  • To consult stakeholders (i.e. employees, service users and others, including trade unions) and take account of relevant information in order to determine its gender equality objectives.

  • To assess the impact of its current and proposed policies and practices on gender equality.

  • To implement the actions set out in its scheme within three years, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so.

  • To report against the scheme every year and review the scheme at least every three years.

The first scheme must be published by 30 April 2007.

2.2 Institutional context

The University's mission is to achieve and sustain excellence in every area of its teaching and research, maintaining and developing its historical position as a world-class university, and enriching the international, national and regional communities through the fruits of its research and the skills of its graduates. The University has detailed its objectives in achieving its mission in the Corporate Plan, 2005-06 to 2009-10.

This mission is also supported by the terms of the Integrated Equal Opportunities Policy, which sets out the University's aim to provide an inclusive environment which values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected to assist them in reaching their full potential. The Policy and Procedure on Harassment including Bullying state clearly that the University will not tolerate any intimidating behaviour.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equal Opportunities) is appointed by Council to provide leadership in all matters relating to Equal Opportunities and to oversee the development of Equal Opportunities policy frameworks and their application in the Collegiate University, working as appropriate with those colleagues and bodies, including those committees with responsibility for student matters, that have specific relevant mandates. In particular the Pro-Vice-Chancellor works closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) on student-related equal opportunities matters.

The Head of the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Unit (DEOU) has the responsibility of considering all existing and emerging equality legislation with a view to identifying relevant issues, which are then translated into key policies by relevant University bodies. The Unit provides information and guidance to divisions3 , departments and faculties4 to enable them to discharge their responsibilities and to support senior members of the University in showing leadership on diversity issues. The Unit facilitates central consultation with specific groups of staff and students. The Unit provides monitoring of key strategic issues and drafts publications for approval by the relevant bodies as appropriate. The Unit also provides support services to staff and students with regard to harassment issues, childcare and disabilities and specific access needs.

Oxford University Students' Union has two full-time Vice-Presidents with responsibility for welfare and equal opportunities and for women respectively.

A distinctive feature of this University is its collegiate structure. The colleges enhance academic life by fostering a community of scholars and providing a support network. The colleges also carry out some of the functions that would fall to the university at other institutions of higher education. The colleges are autonomous institutions with their own procedures and policies and are responsible for monitoring data on the application of these. Where there are shared responsibilities, these are set out in joint agreements, such as the Common Framework agreement on admissions.

Oxford is a participant in collective projects that enable the University to share best practice with peers and provide valuable benchmarking data. Recent projects include the Fourth European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, and the European Social Fund research project: "Improving Women's Representation in Senior Positions in the HE Sector".

3. Key objectives

The objectives of this Scheme are set out below and are broken down further in the Action Plan.

1. Encourage more womento apply for academic posts.

Several national initiatives such as Universities UK's Athena project have documented, and designed initiatives to address, the phenomenon of the 'leaky pipeline' in which women form smaller and smaller proportions of people working in scientific and other academic disciplines as they progress through their careers. One of the identified reasons for this at Oxford is that while women's success rates are as good as men's they tend to apply in smaller numbers for senior positions.

A key recommendation of Oxford's Athena project5 was the establishment of Career Development Fellowships, a new type of post designed to provide a stepping stone for those embarking on an academic career. Two programmes have been run to date under the University's Human Resources Strategy offering these fixed-term fellowships with the aims of providing an intensive and supported career development opportunity for outstanding academics at an early stage of their career, and promoting equality of opportunity by helping to create a more diverse pool of potential candidates for future academic posts at Oxford or elsewhere. The Fellowships are advertised as particularly welcoming applications from women and ethnic minorities. Both programmes have attracted applications from, and recruited, women in high numbers (58% of applicants for the first tranche and 46% for the second were women; all 12 recruits to the first programme, and 7 of the 15 appointed in the second, were women). Eleven members of the first cohort have succeeded in taking the next step up the academic career ladder. The University's Task Force on Academic Employment is currently consulting on a range of propositions, including establishing the Career Development Fellowship grade firmly within the formal structure for academic employment at Oxford.

Work is in hand on a project to review and improve advertisements and further particulars for academic posts, to maximise applications from suitably qualified candidates from all groups. A pilot scheme in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division with the Oxford Learning Institute aims to serve the same purpose, by introducing a formal information session at which applicants can find out more about the post and application process.

2. Continue research into the causes of the gender gap in final examination results in certain subjects.

Recent research6 has noted that whilst women undergraduates perform well in final examinations, proportionately fewer are awarded first-class degrees. For many subjects at Oxford, the success rates in the award of firsts are broadly similar for men and women, but there are some subjects in both the Arts and the Sciences in which there are distinct differences.

The Educational Policy and Standards Committee of Council is monitoring the situation and has supported further research to investigate the causes.

The Oxford Admissions Study was commissioned by the University to assess the factors influencing success rates, including gender in final examination results. The research project, led by Professor Anthony Heath in the Department of Sociology, is tracking the progress of a cohort of students and results will be published in 2008 after the group has taken their final examinations in 2007. Dr Jane Mellanby, Department of Experimental Psychology, and Dr Ann Pasternak-Slater, English Faculty, are conducting research into the gender gap in finals at the English Faculty. It is hoped that the results of both projects will provide further understanding of the causes of the gender imbalance. In the meantime, the English Faculty has shared with current students information on the criteria for firsts and best practice in preparing for final examinations.

3. Engage more women in decision-making processes.

Men still hold the majority of senior positions in the University but the number of women in leadership roles is increasing. There are women in positions of authority in all areas of activity within the University. Two of the five Pro-Vice-Chancellors with specific functional duties, one of the four Heads of Division and the Registrar7 are women. These four appointments have been made in the last two years. The first female appointments to a Regius8 chair and as Bodley's Librarian9 were made in 2007. Women account for 17 of the 116 heads of academic departments, in most cases appointed on rotation from amongst the professors and readers within that department.

Six of the 24 members of Council, the University's highest policy-making body after Congregation10 , are women (there are ten members elected by the University's Congregation, nine ex officio officers, one member elected by the Conference of the Colleges and four nominated by Council). As women take up the most senior positions, their membership of senior committees also increases.

The Academic Leadership Development Programme, beginning its second year in 2007, is aimed at academics, particularly women and those from ethnic minorities, who have some experience of holding office in their department or college and are interested in considering a leadership role. The aim is to develop a pool of diverse people prepared to take on leadership at head of department level and also in respect of the more senior academic leadership positions.

4. Build on the existing framework to foster gender equality.

The Integrated Equal Opportunities Policy devolves implementation of equality objectives to individual divisions, departments and faculties. Individual institutions are responsible for monitoring the use of their services, and the impact of their policies and procedures. With guidance from the DEOU and other bodies, they are also responsible for identifying issues and deciding on the appropriate course of action. Centrally the University, principally through the DEOU, monitors data and recommends action to address University-wide issues.

The next phase of the integration of equal opportunities is a thorough review of current arrangements and their impact on gender equality. The review will consider the completeness and relevance of the data collected on students and staff and the timetable and methods for collection, analysis and reporting, as well as the resourcing of current arrangements. It will also include the development of a plan for the implementation of impact assessment.

The University will continue to raise awareness of the procedure for dealing with complaints of harassment and bullying, and review the systems relating to contracts with suppliers. A full pay audit will seek to identify any gender gaps in remuneration.

4.1 Undergraduate admissions

The University and Colleges have agreed a Common Framework for Colleges and Faculties which lays down key principles and procedures for undergraduate admissions and comes into effect from October 2007. This is supplemented by the Code of Practice for Undergraduate Admissions to the Oxford Colleges.

The Admissions Office is working with the Oxford Learning Institute to revise the training for academics taking part in undergraduate admissions for the first time, to an online format for trial in the summer of 2007.

The University has developed access initiatives to encourage applications from students who are currently under-represented at Oxford at undergraduate level, such as students from the maintained sector, ethnic minority students and mature students. There are also several highly successful student-led initiatives in operation, such as the Oxford Access Scheme and Target Schools.

Other initiatives include a 'Women in Science' residential course run by the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences division (MPLS). Each course takes twenty Year 12 girls of high academic ability from maintained schools, who are studying maths and physics/chemistry, with priority given to those who will be the first generation in their family to go to university. The aim is to encourage girls to continue studying maths and physical sciences at university, and to encourage those of high academic ability to apply to Oxford. Girls attend taster sessions in each of the MPLS departments run by female academics, and talks on careers for female scientists and applying to Oxford.

4.2 Graduate admissions

The Graduate Office adopted a new graduate admissions process for the 2004-05 admission cycle. Application data is now recorded in the Oracle Student System (OSS) and statistics on applicants for the 2006 year of entry will be available from October 2007.

A report from the Graduate Admissions Review Panel published in November 2006 has proposed that a committee be established to review graduate admissions arrangements annually for equity and efficiency. The Principles of the New Graduate Admissions Process govern admissions for graduate students.

4.3 Student experience

Student-related policies are set out in the Proctors' and Assessor's Memorandum: Essential Information for Students.

Questionnaires11 are distributed currently to students who are in the final year of their undergraduate and postgraduate (taught) studies. They are designed to capture information about students' experience and satisfaction with their programme of study. A report on the results of the 2006 undergraduate questionnaire, including analysis by gender, will be submitted to the Educational Policy and Standards Committee and Oxford University Students' Union in September 2007. The reports on both questionnaires for 2007 will include analysis by gender.

In addition, in 2005-06, as part of a research project looking at students' learning responses to features and perceptions of different assessment environments, an Assessment Environment Questionnaire (AEQ) was developed involving the participation of three programmes at Oxford. It is intended that this data will be analysed by gender later in 2007 for a conference presentation and details made available more widely in due course.

5. Staff

The Human Resources Strategy To 2009: Rewarding and Developing People at Oxford is designed to reflect the University's key values as set out in the University's Corporate Plan, 2005-06 to 2009-10, and deliver objective (4) of that plan, namely to "attract, develop and retain academic staff of the highest international calibre and make Oxford University and its colleges employers of choice for all staff in the international, national and local environments". Strategy VII of the Corporate Plan sets out the principal personnel objectives in more detail, and the HR Strategy provides a comprehensive description of current and future activity. Outlined below are two key University initiatives relevant to gender equality:

        (i)     Task Force on Academic Employment

Carrying forward many of the key personnel-related targets included in Strategy VII of the Corporate Plan is the Task Force on Academic Employment. Chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equal Opportunities), it has been established to undertake a review of arrangements for academic employment in the Collegiate University and to make proposals for future structures for academic employment. The review will be comprehensive, including the effect of current and possible alternative arrangements on individuals' workload (in respect of teaching, research and other duties) and on the achievement of academic objectives for University appointments and joint appointments with colleges, career structure and career development, salary structures, and arrangements for tenure.

       (ii)     Contract Research Staff (CRS) Working Group

The University's Corporate Plan acknowledges the importance of attracting, developing and retaining academic staff of the highest international calibre, and that an important strand in this is the development and integration of contract research staff at the University. This working group, which includes CRS representatives, was convened by the Personnel Committee in 2005 to review and conduct research into issues affecting CRS at Oxford, and to recommend and develop policy initiatives that encourage CRS career and professional development. The group also acts as a focus for raising the profile of matters affecting CRS, such as those expressed through the Careers in Research Online Survey, and for ensuring consultation with CRS as part of a broader plan for more effective communication with CRS across the Collegiate University. The group is continuing work started as part of (and in some cases well before) the Research Careers Initiative, including a designated careers service for research staff, the provision of a designated professional development adviser for researchers at the Oxford Learning Institute, extensive training for both researchers and their managers, and specific personnel services, such as a fund to bridge temporary shortfalls in external grant funding and to provide more extensive career support. Further, close links are being established and extended within each of the divisions, as well as the key careers and development service providers, to link and coordinate resources, events and communications with and for researchers.

5.1 Staff benefits

The University's family leave arrangements are generous: maternity leave is well in excess of the statutory minimum; there is also recognition of wider family commitments, which has led to the development of policies on paternity, adoption and parental emergency leave. Flexible working arrangements and time off for domestic emergencies cover dependant adults as well as school age children. The University's childcare provision is outlined under Section 6.3.

Full details of the policies are set out in the staff handbooks.

5.2 Pay

The Gender Equality Code of Practice issued by the government identifies three main factors which contribute to the existence of a gender pay gap:

  • pay discrimination (which is often inadvertent, but nonetheless unlawful)

  • the impact of women's disproportionate share of caring responsibilities (which may result in women undertaking part-time work which is often poorly paid and restricts career continuity and progression)

  • the concentration of women in particular occupations ('occupational segregation'), usually characterised by lower levels of pay than in those numerically dominated by men.

The University has undertaken equal pay audits since 2002 to review the pay of women and men doing work of equal value, identify any pay gaps and take steps to eliminate them. Past audits have reported the following:

  • Overall there were no significant anomalies in basic pay by grade.

  • Women were less likely to hold senior posts. This was particularly significant in relation to senior academic posts.

  • Women were still concentrated in lower paid roles, e.g. clerical posts.

The introduction of the single spine salary structure in August 2006 has entailed a thorough review of pay for work of equal value across all staff roles. A further full pay audit is now due.

6.1 Harassment

Details of current arrangements for dealing with harassment and bullying are set out in the Policy and Procedure on Harassment.

6.2 Training and development

The Oxford Learning Institute has primary responsibility for co-ordinating training. It is piloting 'Managing Diversity', an online training course for departmental administrators offering guidance on recent legislation and the practical issues of managing a diverse staff. The course on recruitment and selection has also been revised and introduced in a new online format, with extensive material on avoiding gender bias in judgements and on positive action in recruitment. The following programmes have been designed to promote or contribute to gender equality:

        (i)     Springboard

To date, the Oxford Learning Institute has offered fourteen programmes of the award-winning personal and professional development scheme for women. The programme is always over-subscribed and the University has supported the licensing of five further in-house trainers. Monitoring of the intake has led to changes in its promotion, to attract women from staff groups that are under-represented, for example lunchtime taster sessions to which staff have been individually invited, and the use of venues on different sites across the University. Responses from parthe Oxford Learning Institute. It started work in September 2005 and will run for five years.

The primary objective of the Centre is to prepare postgraduate research students and contract research staff for academic careers, and its methods combine research and the dissemination of best practice, and the development of training and mentoring programmes. The Centre is currently funding a pilot of the Springboard programme for postgraduate students; until now, this programme has been offered to staff only.

6.3 Childcare

The University offers 219 FTE subsidised workplace nursery places of which 161 are in premises provided by the University and managed by the company Kidsunlimited and the rest are at private nurseries run by Kidsunlimited (45 places) and Buffer Bear Ltd (13 places). The University operates two schemes offering tax savings for employee parents: a Salary Sacrifice Scheme for those holding a workplace nursery place and a Virtual Voucher Scheme for those paying for non-workplace approved childcare. A fund of up to £20,000 a year is available to provide student bursaries to those experiencing hardship in paying workplace nursery fees. University parents can also take advantage of discounted holiday playscheme places. In addition there are four college nurseries, at Balliol, St. Anne's, Somerville and Wolfson.

Following a full review of childcare in 2006, in January 2007 the DEOU gained approval from Council for a plan to restructure the finances available for childcare, including further investigation of the possibility of a further 50-place nursery to be built on a new University site.

7. Oxford in the community

The University extends an open invitation to all members of the local community to visit the University's collections, museums and galleries. Outreach activities range from special events for families to those targeted at particular groups in the community. The programme of events for schools is extensive and growing. In addition to the schemes run by the Admissions Office and student-led initiatives, dedicated outreach officers promote schools programmes run by staff and students in some divisions and colleges. These include initiatives targetting girls studying science, engineering and technology.

8. Procurement and contracts with suppliers

The University is in the process of reviewing its procedures regarding contracts for the supply of services. Once in place, departments will be able to identify those suppliers who meet European and national legislation and guidelines, including gender equality in the workplace. New suppliers are only entered onto the finance database by staff in the Purchasing Office, and the Office is building on this to develop systems on the introduction of new suppliers.

9.1 Staff and student data collected

The University monitors undergraduate admissions (based on data provided by UCAS13) and the progression of students by gender, and reports these results annually to the Undergraduate Panel of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee. With the introduction of the new Oracle Student System, a similar pattern will be introduced for graduates. Undergraduate admissions statistics and data on current student numbers are published online (see the student statistics). Data on gender is held on 99.9% of current students.

Personnel Services monitor certain staff data by gender, and statistics are published online. The results of this analysis and staff recruitment monitoring conducted by the DEOU are reported to the Personnel Committee. Data on gender was available for 93% of all job applicants and 100% of staff in post in 2006.

Current guidance from the Equality Challenge Unit and the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Wales (HEFCE) is that universities should only monitor sexual orientation of staff and students after extensive consultation with interested parties. Initial consultation with a group of staff and students has shown that there is a preference for sexual orientation not to be monitored by the University and there are therefore currently no plans to do so. This policy will be kept under review.

9.2 Future action

The Admissions Office is in the process of reviewing the statistical data on undergraduate admissions that will be available online. This is part of a move to provide applicants and those who advise them with more information to assist them in their applications and give greater transparency over the process of selection and admission of students to the University.

The Student Administration is also reviewing the statistics on current students and will publish a new set of data from April 2007.

Action is being taken to improve response rates for job applicants and current staff. The DEOU is piloting revisions to the procedure for collecting monitoring data from job applicants which it is hoped will improve the number of returns.

10. Impact assessment

The DEOU will prepare a plan for facilitating equality impact assessments over the three-year span of this Scheme, to map, prioritise and then review existing and new policies and procedures.

Appendix: Preparation for the Scheme

Membership of Gender Equality Steering Group

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel & Equal Opportunities), Somerville College (chair)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), St John's College

Administrative Officer, Social Sciences Division

Associate Head of Department (Admin. & Finance), Department of Biochemistry

Fellow and Tutor in Medicine, Deputy Director in Clinical Studies, University Medical School

Head of the Department of Engineering Science

Head of Professional Development, Oxford Learning Institute

Senior Tutor, Magdalen College, member of Faculty of Classics

Social Sciences Librarian

University Research Lecturer in Chemical Pathology, Dunn School of Pathology, member of Childcare Review Panel

Vice-President (Access & Academic Affairs), Oxford University Students' Union (OUSU)

Vice-President (Graduates), OUSU

Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, Mansfield College

Information gathering and consultation

In preparing this Scheme, the DEOU collated information from the departments responsible for collection of data on students and staff. The departments were also asked to identify key issues affecting gender equality. In addition to the Unit's own data on applicants for University posts, data was reviewed from the following sources:

  •       Student Administration, incorporating the Graduate Office (data on current student numbers; also responsible for graduate applicant data)
  •       Admissions Office (data on undergraduate applicants and acceptances)
  •       Personnel Services (data on University staff)

Requests for information were also sent to individual departments:

  •       Accommodation Service (University's outlet for staff and student accommodation)
  •       Careers Service (data on student destinations)
  •       Divisional Boards (with oversight of teaching and research in the broad subject area covered)
  •       International Office (funding for international students)
  •       Oxford Learning Institute (training and development)
  •       Oxford University Students' Union
  •       Pensions Office
  •       Purchasing Office
  •       Proctors' Office (complaints, disciplinary procedures and granting of special provisions, primarily relating to students)
  •       Student Funding and Access Office (undergraduate student bursaries; administration of grants and hardship funds to current students)

The following staff and student groups and individuals were asked to comment on a draft of the Scheme. Responses have been taken into account in preparing this final version.

  •       Staff Consultative Forum (University forum)
  •       Trades unions AMICUS, UNISON, University and College Union, and the joint committees: Joint Committee For University Support Staff;  Joint Committee with UCU; Joint Consultative Committee For University Support Staff In Clinical Departments
  •       Contract Research Staff Working Group (University working party convened by the Personnel Committee)
  •       Oxford Research Staff Society (staff group)
  •       Oxford Women in Politics (student group)
  •       Oxford Women's Network (staff and student group)
  •       Females in Engineering, Science and Technology (FEST) (staff and student group)
  •       Graduates of the University's Springboard programme
  •       Staff LGBT Network (staff group)
  •       Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Society (student group)
  •       Special Project Officer, Academic Division
  •       Reader in Engineering Science undertaking a gender research project as part of participation in the Academic Leadership Development Programme

Further consultation will be carried out as appropriate to inform the direction and the development of plans and policies in future.


1 Council is the University's principal policy-making body.

2 A Pro-Vice-Chancellor is a senior University officer with functional responsibility for one of five areas: Development and External Affairs; Education; Personnel and Equal Opportunities; Planning and Resources; and Research.

3 Day-to-day decision-making in matters such as finance and planning is devolved to the University's four Academic Divisions - Humanities, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, Medical Sciences and Social Sciences. Continuing Education is the responsibility of a separate board.

4 A faculty groups together members whose research and teaching is in the same field of study. A department is an administrative unit based on a common area of study.

5 In 1999-2000 the University succeeded in securing funding from Universities UK's Athena project for a programme of positive action aimed at encouraging applications from women scientists for academic posts at the University.

6 This includes research conducted at Oxford: Mellanby, J., Martin, M., O'Doherty , J. British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 91 No.3 August 2000 The 'gender gap' in final examination results at Oxford University

7 The Registrar is the head of the University of Oxford's administration.

8 There are eight Regius Professorships at Oxford University appointed by the Crown and held by scholars of distinction.

9 The Bodley's Librarian is head of the Bodleian Library and the Director of University Library Services with responsibility for administration of the majority of the University's libraries.

10 Congregation is the ultimate legislative body of the University and is composed of virtually all academic staff and certain research support staff, administrators and librarians.

11 There are currently two Oxford-based questionnaires: the Oxford Student Course Experience Questionnaire (OSCEQ) for undergraduates and the Oxford Postgraduate Taught Experience Questionnaire (OPTEQ) for postgraduates on taught Masters courses. A third questionnaire, the Oxford Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (OPREQ) for postgraduate research students has been developed and it was intended to distribute this in alternate years from 2006; however, with effect from 2008, OPREQ will be superseded by the Higher Education Academy's Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

12 HEFCE : Higher Education Funding Council for England.

13 UCAS : Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Gender Equality Action Plan

Review date Person/Body responsible
Objective 1: Encourage more women to apply for academic posts  
Ensure that gender issues of direct relevance to its formal remit are covered in the work of the Task Force on Academic Employment, including an impact assessment of its agreed recommendations Trinity Term 2008  PVC (Personnel & Equal Opportunities)
Review of advertisements and further particulars for academic posts Trinity Term 2008  PS
Continue to support the Springboard programme Ongoing OLI
Continue to support the Career Development Fellowships Ongoing OLI
Continue to monitor demand for nursery places: investigate the possibility of building a nursery on a new University site Trinity Term 2008  EDU
Objective 2: Continue research into the causes of the gender gap in final examination results in certain subjects
Develop plan based on outcome of Oxford-specific research Oxford Admissions Study due to be published in 2008  PVC (Education), EPSC
Objective 3: Engage more women in decision-making processes
Continue to support Academic Leadership Development Programme  Ongoing OLI
Objective 4: Build on the existing framework to foster gender equality 
Carry out a full equal pay audit  Trinity Term 2008
Develop implementation plan for conduct of impact assessments on all new and existing policies and procedures   Trinity Term 2008  EDU
Review of monitoring arrangements on graduate applicants for admission and current students April 2008 (current students) and October 2007 (graduate admissions) Student Administration, Graduate Office, EDU
Review of monitoring arrangements on use of services by students and applicants Trinity Term 2008 EDU
Review of policies and support covering student maternity/paternity to ensure equality of access and adequateness of support Trinity Term 2008 PVC (Education), EPSC
Review of monitoring arrangements on use of services by staff Trinity Term 2008 EDU
Review of contracts with suppliers and purchasing systems Trinity Term 2008 EDU, Legal Services, Purchasing Office
Continue to increase awareness of procedure for complaints of harassment and bullying Ongoing EDU
Continue to promote science, engineering and technology to school-age children Ongoing
Various bodies
Report annually on progress against the University's Gender Equality Action Plan to Council's General Purposes Committee and EPSC and Personnel Committee and publish the progress report and revised action plan online Trinity Term 2008 EDU
Review the University's Gender Equality Scheme at least once every three years Trinity Term 2009 EDU