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Equality and Diversity


At The Open University our mission is to be open to people, places, methods, and ideas, and this means that a commitment to equality is embedded in everything that we do.​ ​​​​​​​​​

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Our central Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) team works to build a university that ensures equality of opportunity for staff and students, which is actively Anti-Discrimination, where diversity is celebrated, and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  These activities and values are reflected in our local office.  The university developed the Institutional Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Plan 2022-2027 to define the strategic direction for our EDI mission.

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Athena Swan Bronze Award

The university achieved an Athena Swan Bronze award, indicating our commitment to removing the barriers which impact all genders in their achievement and progression within Higher Education and employment.  To prepare for attaining a Silver award we are undertaking an ambitious four-year action plan, making changes across policy, practice and culture.

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Fair Employment Practices

Our office is committed to fair employment practices and recently implemented anonymous recruitment campaigns for new roles.  We regularly review and update our recruitment processes and report our findings among senior staff.

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The Open University is a member of the Race Equality Charter process run by Advance HE and progressing its application for a Bronze Award. The REC helps HE institutions to identify and self-reflect on barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students.  We encourage our staff and students to complete the OU “Union Black: Britain’s Black Culture and steps to anti-racism course”, which was developed with Santander Universities as part of a UK wide initiative to tackle racial harassment in Higher Education.  We host a range of seminars and courses during Black History Month. We are committed to ensuring that we promote an environment which is anti-racist and you can read our statement outlining our position on Anti-Racism.

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Staff Networks

Alongside our legislative duties, the university has a range of staff networks for colleagues to gather (in)formally.  These include; BME Staff Network, Care and Caring Network, Enabling Staff, Proud (LGBT+), Trans and Non-Binary Staff Network, Neurodiversity, and Women@OU.