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University of East London leads on diversity and inclusion in higher education

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The university has been recognised for its commitment to greater equality and diversity

Helping increase the diversity of the talent pipeline for a rapidly changing world is central to the University of East London’s 10-year strategic plan, Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president, told a virtual audience last week.

Professor Broderick said it is vital to have senior leadership support and advocacy in the creation of successful equality and diversity policies.

She said, “For us at UEL, equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the nature and character of the University. We have diverse representation on both our University Executive Board and our Board of Governors. It can’t be an add on to the strategy; it must be core to our values.”

Professor Broderick was joined by Professor Marcia Wilson, dean of the Office for Institutional Equity, on 25 June for a discussion hosted by technology company Siemens on developing a more diverse, inclusive workplace. They were joined by Siemens’ Angela Noon, chief financial officer, and Faye Bowser, head of energy and performance services.

Professor Wilson noted, “Senior leadership is so important, but HR is also important. You need to look at recruitment and selection procedures, staff training. It is about sharing the vision of what you and the institution should look like.

“Data is key to developing an inclusive institution because you need to know where there are gaps are. Use the data and act.”

The University of East London has been recognised for its efforts to achieve greater equality and inclusion:

  • In rankings released by the Times Higher Education, the University was second in a field of 760 worldwide reducing inequalities – ranking top in the UK. It was also second in the UK in two other categories entered, gender equality and quality education, ranking eighth and 57th in the world in these categories respectively.

  • The University’s Office for Institutional Equity is the first of its kind in the UK and has specific responsibility for addressing inequalities within the institution by creating sustainable cultural changes which will positively impact the University community.

  • The University is also one of only 14 universities to be awarded the Race Equality Charter Bronze award, affirming the University’s commitment to supporting race equality.

Professor Broderick said, “UK universities are one of our most diverse groups of institutions and that is a core strength. We are one of the strongest higher education sectors in the world. What I would like to see in five years’ time is much more systematic and positive partnerships between employers and a wider range of universities to increase the diversity as well as the strength of the talent pipeline.”