Race Equality Policy
- The University’s aims
- The University’s commitment
- Community partnership
- Guidance, support and training
- Monitoring and audit
- Contractors and service providers
The University’s aims
1. The University of Oxford welcomes diversity amongst its students, staff, and visitors, recognising the contributions to the achievement of the University's mission that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The University aims to provide an inclusive environment which promotes equality, 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 University will work to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest potential and ability from applying to Oxford, either as staff or students.
2. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places both general and specific duties on public authorities, including the University, in carrying out their functions. The general duties are to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity, and to promote good relations between people of different racial groups.
3. The Act places further specific duties on Higher Education Institutions to publish a Race Equality Policy and an action plan (the University’s Race Equality Scheme) for its implementation, and to put in place appropriate monitoring and audit to allow for effective assessment of the impact of the policy, the constructive development of new policies and the enhancement of existing policies.
The University’s commitment
4. The University is committed to promoting race equality and good relations between people of different racial groups, and to avoiding racial discrimination. The University will: assess the impact of policies on ethnic minority students and staff; monitor the recruitment and progression of ethnic minority students and staff; publish the results of impact assessments and monitoring.
5. Any unlawful discriminatory behaviour, including harassment or bullying by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and could be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion or dismissal.
6. Arrangements for consultation will be maintained for all aspects of the implementation and review of the Race Equality Scheme. This includes staff and students and in particular those from different racial groups, Joint Committees, and other interested and relevant groups within the University.
7. The University will work in partnership with the community and racial equality organisations and networks to develop a positive environment in which diversity and difference are valued. It will incorporate into the development and implementation of outreach activities, an awareness of the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups.
Guidance, support and training
8. Guidance, support and training will be provided to members of staff to ensure that the University's commitment to race equality is fully realised.
Monitoring and audit
9. The University has in place arrangements to monitor, by reference to different racial groups, the selection and recruitment of members of staff and the admission of students. The results of this monitoring process are collated by the University's Equality and Diversity Unit and reported to the University. Additional monitoring is undertaken as necessary to ensure that the University is able to identify possible improvements in its practices in relation to:
- teaching, learning and assessment; management and governance;
- admissions, access and participation;
- students' support and guidance;
- behaviour and discipline;
- partnership and community links;
- staff recruitment, training and career development;
- and service delivery.
10. The Action Plan for the University's Race Equality Scheme sets out arrangements for monitoring in particular areas and reports on outcomes.
11. Council is responsible for securing compliance with the general and specific duties and for overseeing implementation of the Scheme.
12. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for providing leadership in the promotion and implementation of the Scheme1.
13. The Equality and Diversity Unit is responsible to Council for the promotion, development, implementation, monitoring, prioritisation, and review of equality policies generally.
14. All committees are responsible for ensuring that this policy is embedded in their duties and functions in relation to both students and staff.
15. Those with managerial responsibilities have a duty to take forward specific actions under this policy as identified in the action plan in addition to the general duties under the Act.
1In practice, this role is delegated to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equality)
Contractors and service providers
16. The University's procurement policies will address, where appropriate the obligation to promote race equality and good relation between different racial groups.
17. The General Purposes Committee, on behalf of the Council, will consider an annual report on the Race Equality Scheme at the end of Hilary Term each year.
18. The University will publish the Race Equality Policy and Scheme and results of monitoring and assessments as part of the annual report of the Scheme.
19. Any prospective or current student or member of staff who has a complaint concerning a breach of this policy may bring such a complaint to the University. Information and guidance on complaints procedures.