Equality and Diversity Policy for Students

1 Aims

This Policy for students is about promoting positive attitudes towards equality and diversity and to ensure that everyone working, living and studying at the University is treated fairly and with dignity and respect. This Policy aims to ensure that no prospective or existing student shall receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief and non-belief, sex or sexual orientation.

The University will ensure that its policies, procedures and practices comply with current equality legislation. (The Equality Act 2010):

This Policy sets out the University’s work in support of equality in the key areas of current legislation and highlights existing equality policies.

2 Equality Areas

2.1 Age

The University celebrates and values the diversity of students of all ages and aims to ensure that all students are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub, YUSU Mature Students' Officer and related equality networks such as the GSA Family Network.

2.2 Disability

The University's Open Door and Disability Team and the YUSU Disabled Students' Office provide support and guidance for students. There are also related equality networks such as the YUSU Disabled Students' Network.

The University provides a number of meeting and teaching rooms on campus with hearing loops. Further information about these rooms is available on the Audio Visual web pages and the University's room booking system (login required).

2.3 Gender reassignment

The University celebrates and values the diversity of its students and aims to ensure that all transgender students are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

There are various sources of support at the University, for example: the Student Hub, YUSU LGBTQ Officer and related equality networks such as the YUSU LGBTQ Student Forum, YUSU LGBTQ Social and GSA LGBTQ Network.

All-gender toilet facilities are available at locations across campus.

2.4 Marriage and Civil Partnership

The University aims to ensure that all students who are in a marriage or civil partnership are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. Civil partnership is recognised and reflected in University policies in accordance with the law.

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub and related equality networks such as the GSA Family Network.

2.5 Pregnancy and Maternity

The University aims to provide an environment where students are supported and treated fairly and with dignity and respect during pregnancy and maternity and whilst breastfeeding. See the University's Student pregnancy, maternity, paternity and adoption policy.

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub, YUSU Mature Students' Officer and related equality networks such as the GSA Family Network.

See information about breastfeeding and baby changing facilities on campus.

2.6 Race

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub, YUSU International Officers and related equality networks such as the YUSU BAME Network and related YUSU student societies.

2.7 Religion, belief and non-belief

In support of the work on religion and belief and non-belief equality the University has developed a Policy for Students on Religion, Belief and Non-Belief.

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub, list of faith contacts and related YUSU student societies.

The University has a number of spaces on campus for prayer and reflection.

2.8 Sex (Gender)

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the YUSU student societies, YUSU Women's Officers and the GSA Vice President (Wellbeing and Community).

Read more about the University's work on gender equality.

2.9 Sexual Orientation

The University celebrates and values the diversity of its students and aims to ensure they are welcomed and are treated fairly and with dignity and respect whatever their sexual orientation.

There are various source of support at the University, for example, the Student Hub, YUSU LGBTQ Officer and related equality networks such as the YUSU LGBTQ Student Forum, YUSU LGBTQ Social and GSA LGBTQ Network.

All-gender toilet facilities are available at locations across campus.

3 University Functions

All University functions will take account of University equality policy. The following functions have specific responsibilities:

3.1 Student Admissions

The University is committed to excellence in admissions and aims to provide a professional and fair service for applicants.

The University aims not only to select students who have the ability and motivation to benefit from the programmes which they intend to follow and who will make a contribution to university life, but also to ensure that no prospective or existing student is treated less favourably on any grounds stated on page 1 of this policy. For further information see the University's Admissions Policies:

3.2 Widening participation

The University is committed to widening participation in higher education and is keen to see a socially and culturally diverse student population at York. To help achieve this the University offers a wide range of activities for schools, parents and teachers and is involved in many projects which aim to raise aspirations and encourage progression to University. The University's Access Agreement details this commitment.

3.3 Teaching, learning and assessment

The University values the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that students bring to the academic environment of the University and is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse and changing student body. The University aims to ensure that all teaching, learning and assessment strategies are equitable, undertaken with awareness of the different needs of students, and are directed towards the encouragement of academic and personal development.

The University recognises the importance of encouraging diversity to be reflected in the content of courses, teaching methods and forms of assessment as reflected in the Learning and Teaching Strategy

3.4 Facilities and Services

All facilities and services provided by or in association with the University operate in accordance with the University's Equality and Diversity Policy for Students. This includes catering facilities, accommodation services, sports provision, retail outlets, conference and social activities.

3.5 Support for Students

The welfare of all students of the University is of the highest priority. The student support network aims to secure the personal development, physical and mental well-being and welfare of all students, supporting them in realising their academic potential. See list of sources of help relating to welfare and support of students at the end of this document. The student supervisory system also plays a role in the welfare of students. Details are provided in departmental handbooks.

4 Harassment

The University aims to provide a stimulating and supportive environment for learning, teaching and research which will enable students to fulfil their personal potential. All members of the University community have an important role to play in creating an environment where harassment is unacceptable. Students experiencing harassment or bullying in any form can contact one of the Harassment Advisers who offer a first point of contact to anyone experiencing harassment.

For further information, including sources of support and routes for reporting issues, please see Responding to harassment and bullying.

5 Complaints

If any student is not satified with their treatment under this policy they should raise it in the first instance with their department and also read the University complaints procedure for dealing with complaints from students and student applicants.

6 Monitoring

The University is committed to equality monitoring of undergraduate and postgraduate applications, admissions, progression and achievement. Comparisons are currently made by age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religious belief and sexual orientation. The results of such monitoring will be reviewed by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and by Departments. Any action will be based on the result of this monitoring and as a result of the Equality Impact Assessment of policies and procedures.

7 Implementation and Responsibilities

The University seeks to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable members of the University are informed of this Policy and any associated procedures. All members of the University are responsible for familiarising themselves with this Policy and its implementation.

The following groups and post holders have particular responsibility for various aspects of the Equality and Diversity Policy for Students.

  • Council is responsible for monitoring the work of its Committees and Boards to ensure the University's goal of achieving equality.
  • The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is responsible for formulating, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing all aspects of the University’s work on equality and diversity including the Code of Practice on Harassment. The York University Students’ Union (YUSU), the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and the International Students’ Association (ISA) are represented on this committee.
  • The Equality and Diversity Office is responsible for giving advice, support and guidance to students and staff on a range of equality matters.

Students can seek advice from the people listed below:

Equality and Diversity Office

Updated January 2011 (minor amendments made in August 2017, May and June 2018)

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
equality@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 324680
@EqualityatYork

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
equality@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 324680
@EqualityatYork