& opinion


The Higher Education Funding Council for England, who recently revised their Racial Equality Scheme after a sector-wide consultation, are to join with Sussex University in a reassessment of our own race and equality policies.

Professor Nigel Llewellyn, Pro-Vice- Chancellor and Chair of the Equal Opportunities Working Group, has invited a team from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), a sub-group of the HEFCE, to visit Sussex University. They will be conducting an audit into the equality policies in place for staff and students, and making recommendations for further positive change.

Professor Llewellyn declared, "the report will assist the University in deciding the direction it needs to take in ensuring that equality and diversity become embedded into the mainstream of all that we do for staff and students."

The visit will take place between 6th and 7th of February, during which time the ECU advisory team will conduct interviews with key members of staff and student representatives. Focus groups will also be running involving students, academic and support staff, and senior management. Anyone wanting to participate should contact Liz Burchett on ext. 7602, or email her at E.J.R.Burchett@sussex.ac.uk. There will be a drop-in session at 11:30am on 7th of February.

The reworking of the University’s Equality Strategy will take place with focus groups of under-represented staff. Staff members interested in forming a Staff Equalities Network focusing on ethnic minority, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and flexible working were asked to attend a meeting this week in Sussex House to discuss challenges

The involvement of the HEFCE in the University’s assessment of their policies on equality is seen as a positive step, which will hopefully lead to greater diversification in all parts of University life.