Queen Margaret University Equality and Diversity Strategy 1. Institutional Commitment 2. Equal Opportunities Policy 3. Strategic Context 4. External Context 5. Legislative Context 6. Internal Context 7. Widening Access and Participation 8. Mainstreaming Equality and Diversity 9. Implementing the Strategy 10. Measuring Performance 11. Responsibilities 12. Race Relations Policy 13. Equality and Diversity Action Plan 14. Dimensions of the Strategy Appendices Equality and Diversity Strategy 1 1.1 2 Institutional Commitment Queen Margaret University is committed to creating and celebrating a positive, inclusive culture based on respect for individuals’ differences, in which students and staff are actively encouraged to reach their full potential. Our objective is to build an institution that understands, appreciates and values the diversity of each individual, makes people feel valued and able to participate and achieve their full potential. Equal Opportunities Policy 2.1 Queen Margaret University welcomes diversity amongst its students, staff, applicants and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of the institution's mission that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The institution is committed to ensuring that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunities. 2.2 This policy statement is underpinned by a range of equal opportunities policies and codes of practice for staff and students, including the institution's race equality policy, all of which are published on our equality website www.qmu.ac.uk/equal/committee.htm. Subject only to statutory provisions and necessary professional considerations, no students, staff, applicants or visitors will be treated less favourably than others because of factors such as their sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or racial group, or disability. 2.3 The University is committed to creating and celebrating a positive, inclusive atmosphere, based on respect for individuals’ differences, in which students and staff are actively encouraged to reach their full potential. All staff and students have rights and responsibilities in relation to the promotion of equality. 2.4 In relation to staff, the policy and practice of the institution require that all staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment, and that entry into employment with the institution and the progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, the ability to perform the job effectively, safely and fairly is a primary consideration. We are committed to ensuring that our staff population is representative of the wider community and in session 2004/05 our Equal Opportunities Committee will take active steps to implement appropriate benchmarks. 2.5 In relation to students, the institution aims to promote entry to and provide education at undergraduate and postgraduate level for all students, whatever their background. We are committed to enhancing the student experience through delivering race equality and creating an inclusive learning environment; this applies to recruitment and admissions, to the curriculum, teaching and assessment, to welfare and support services, and to staff development and training. In session 2004/05 our Equal Opportunities Committee will take active steps to implement appropriate benchmarks, and to addressing imbalance 2.6 Queen Margaret University is fully committed to leading its staff and students in a period of culture change. It wishes to exceed the requirements of the general duty and the specific duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination; promotion of equality of opportunity; and promotion of good relations. 2.7 Queen Margaret University will ensure that in the conduct of all its activities, steps are taken to promote equality of opportunity, to promote good relations between diverse groups, and to avoid the occurrence of discrimination, whether direct or indirect. The promotion of equality and diversity will be central to future staff development activity. 2.8 Any discriminatory behaviour, including harassment or bullying by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and may be regarded as grounds for disciplinary process, which may result in expulsion or dismissal. 2.9 Failure to comply with the University’s Race Equality Policy could lead to the individual and the institution being in breach of the law. The University will take action if there is any attempt by its students, staff or other service providers to discriminate. 3 Strategic Context 3.1 The Institution has a clear commitment in its mission and vision to inclusion, communities and participation. In the Strategic Plan 2004-2007, the Institution aims to be “a highly focused university committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity and widening participation, working with and for its communities” and “enabling and promoting access through student recruitment and the dissemination of expertise”. 3.2 A policy of positive inclusion will enable the Institution to attract the widest pool of staff and students to deliver its strategic objectives. An equality and diversity strategy embedded in all our functions and strategic planning processes is a core component in achieving our mission and vision. 4 External Context 4.1 The 1997 Dearing Report 1recommended that ‘all institutions identify and remove barriers that inhibit recruitment and progression for particular groups’ and ‘monitor and publish the progress towards turning equal opportunities commitments into reality into Higher Education’. 4.2 The Scottish Parliament’s position as articulated in the Scottish Executive’s Equality Strategy is ‘the Executive is committed to securing a just and inclusive Scotland. This means tackling discrimination and prejudice across Scotland. It means tackling the systems, behaviours and attitudes that cause and sustain them.’ The Scottish Executive expects public bodies to mainstream equality issues into all their functions. 4.3 The minister for Life Long Learning in his letter of guidance to the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council2 in January 2004, said ‘the promotion of equal opportunities for staff (and students’) continues as a matter of priority, as 1 2 1997 The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (NCIHE)- the Dearing Committee Higher Education: Guidance for 2004-05 Scottish Higher Education Funding Council is the institutions’ consideration and action on obligations under disabilities and race relations legislation’. 4.4 The Funding Council imposes conditions of grant both in terms of students and admissions (widening participation) and in relation to human resource management. The Institution is assessed annually on its compliance with this condition of grant. 4.5 The promotion of equality of opportunity, diversity and social inclusion is therefore at the heart of the government’s agenda both in the UK and in Scotland. 5 Legislative Context 5.1 Significant changes have been made to equalities legislation in recent years particularly in relation to race relations. The introduction of paternity and adoption leave, the right to request flexible working hours extended maternity leave, protection and equity of treatment for part-time workers and those on fixed term contracts have all contributed to the creation of a very different working environment. 5.2 The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2001 introduced a duty on all higher education institutions, to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good race relations between persons of different racial groups. Further legislation adopting a similar approach in relation to disability is expected. 5.3 The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 legislates against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. The legislation extends beyond the field of employment to ‘vocational training’, including students in further and higher education. Parallel legislation, (implemented December 2003), addressed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and legislation is in place to prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment. Legislation outlawing discrimination on the grounds of age will be in place in the next two years. 6 Internal Context 6.1 The Institution’s commitment to the enhancement of its research activities will mean competing in an international market for high quality research staff. The recruitment of international students is also a key strategic objective. Our objectives on student recruitment and future resourcing needs, brings challenges in terms of the management and promotion of good race relations. 6.2 The University has put in place an Equal Opportunities Committee with the remit to set the strategic framework for equality of opportunity in service provision and in employment. The internal challenge is to embed equality and diversity into all our functions particularly learning, teaching and assessment and research. This may involve challenging the views and practices of professional bodies that regulate many aspects our curriculum. 6.3 The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) has placed equality and diversity policies as central to their assessment process. A successful RAE submission is core to the delivery of our strategic plan. The Institution’s plans for the development of the new campus need to contain a commitment to embedding equality and diversity, particularly in relation to all our communities and stakeholders. 6.4 7 The strategic planning process and our management committee structures are being developed to include key objectives on equality and diversity and mainstreaming our strategies and policies in all our functions. Our strategy on Widening Participation and policies on recruitment and admissions and recruitment in employment have close links to our Equality and Diversity Strategy. Widening Access and Participation 7.1 The Institution is committed to widening access and participation to students who have previously been inhibited from entering Higher Education for social, economic or cultural reasons. Our widening participation strategy seeks to increase student numbers from non-traditional groups; extend collaborative working relationships; promote staff understanding of diverse student groups and create an appropriately supportive infrastructure. 7.2 The Institution’s strategic approach to widening participation and equality of opportunity is detailed within a number of documents, including the Quality of Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. A key strategy has been collaboration with communities to de-mystify higher education and to empower individuals seeking to access to higher education. These efforts are supported by the continuing development of a supportive infrastructure to recruit and, importantly, retain an increasingly diverse student population. 7.3 The Institution has a demonstrable track-record in terms of widening access and participation that suggests continuing potential to succeed as evidenced by the Higher Education Funding Council performance indicators3. Within the context of the wider debate within the sector on Fair Access to Higher Education, our policies on recruitment and admission will be subject to regular review. 8 Mainstreaming Equality and Diversity 8.1 Mainstreaming describes the process where equality and diversity are brought into the core of the Institution’s work and integrated into day-to-day activities. It is the process whereby equality and diversity are considered for all functions including policy, initiatives, training and development, implementation and review. 8.2 The Scottish Executive and the model set by the Race Relations Amendment Act (2001) set out the commitment and legal obligation to mainstream equality and diversity. This approach is a significant development from a more traditional view of equality as an optional extra. 8.3 Mainstreaming has significant implications for the way in which responsibility for equality and diversity is managed. It requires collective responsibility and implementation and leadership and commitment from the Governing Body and the Strategic Management Group. Commitment, ownership and understanding needs to be built at all levels within the Institution, particularly with Heads of School and Department Heads level. 3 HEFC Performance Indicators 2001/02, published December 2003 8.4 Embedding equality and diversity in our strategic planning and committee structures is key to achieving this objective. Defining responsibilities for implementation, setting performance measures and monitoring progress will support the Institution in achieving this change in culture. 8.5 The Institution is committed to mainstreaming equality and diversity into the everyday functions of the Institution ensuring it is an integral part of all our functions and activities. 9 9.1 Implementing the Strategy The Institution will deliver the strategy through the development of a strategic equality and diversity framework that enables us to : Develop a long-term vision for the Institution on its priorities in the area of equality and diversity; Set objectives to which the Institution as a whole is committed to achieving by 2007 in line with the attainment of full University title, Re:LOCATE and the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise; Mainstream equality and diversity considerations into all the Institution’s functions and activities; Assess the impact and equality proof key functions and procedures. 9.2 In support of this implementation strategy, the Institution has identified the following priority action areas: Identification of data requirements and collection methodology where gaps have been established. Development of staff and student consultation procedures. Management and staff education and training. Student recruitment, admissions and retention impact assessment. Graduate employment impact assessment. The requirement to continue with equality monitoring in course reviews and annual monitoring processes. Review policies in line with the requirement of new European Directives. Enhancement of the profile of equality and Re:LOCATE. 10 Measuring Performance 10.1 The implementation of this Equality and Diversity Strategy is an on-going process of cultural change. Specific action plans with targets and performance measures are in place to address policy areas specifically race and disability. The Equal Opportunities Committee will continue to identify appropriate measurements for reviewing and evaluating the impact of this strategy and supporting policies. 10.2 In realising this strategy, the Institution expects to see positive trends emerging for all equality groups. The Principal and the Equal Opportunities Committee are responsible for reporting to Governing Body annually on the implementation of the Institution’s policies and action plans. 11 Responsibilities 11.1 All staff and students have responsibility for the implementation of this strategy and supporting policies and to apply them in their day-to-day work. The Governing Body- as the employer - is responsible for ensuring the Institution fulfils its legal obligations for promoting equality and diversity and eliminating discrimination. A member of the Governing Body is a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee. 11.2 The Principal is responsible for providing the Institution with a clear and consistently high profile lead on all equality and diversity matters. The Principal is responsible for the effective implementation of this strategy and supporting policies and ensuring individual members of the Strategic Management Group implement policy within their areas of line management responsibility. 11.3 The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for advising the Principal and the Governing Body on the implementation of all aspects of the Institutions’ Equal Opportunities Policy and for monitoring progress. 11.4 The management structure for equality and diversity and the terms of reference for the Equal Opportunities Committee are set out in Appendix A and B of this strategy. Supporting policies are being amended to clarify individual responsibilities. 12 Race Relations Policy An extract from the institutional Race Relations Policy is available in Appendix C. 13 Equality and Diversity Action Plan 13.1 In developing its strategy, the institution aims to develop an Action Plan to: develop mechanisms by which the University’s strategic objectives for diversity and equal opportunities can be delivered; and work in partnership with Schools and Divisions to agree a fair and equitable division of responsibility under current and future equality legislation. 13.2 The objectives of the Action Plan, in support of the above, are: To understand existing and emerging equality legislation and best practice and to identify relevant issues which will need to be reflected in key University policies. To develop an integrated diversity policy for approval by all relevant bodies after appropriate consultation and to take the necessary steps thereafter to ensure its implementation. To provide information and guidance to divisions, departments and faculties to enable them to discharge their responsibilities and to support senior members of the University in showing leadership on diversity issues. To build on the strengths of the University and to exploit national initiatives in order to develop creative and effective programmes of action which promote equality of opportunity and diversity. To ensure that staff, students and other stakeholders are consulted on policy development in respect of diversity matters. To provide high quality management information to enable monitoring of the impact of policies and of the success of diversity policy in creating change. To build links with local and national organisations, communities and policy setting bodies. 13.3 Over the next two years the University will aim to meet the following objectives in respect of its functions, staff, students and delivery of education. Activity Responsible Expected Completion Date SMG September 2004 Implement the Disability Policy. Monitor and assess impact to ensure compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. SMG September 2004 Apply for use of the Disability Symbol. Director of HR April 2005 Director of HR September 2005 Director of HR June 2005 Equal Opportunities Committee December 2005 1. RACE Implement the Race Relations Policy Monitor and assess impact to ensure compliance with the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 2. DISABILITY 3. SEXUAL ORIENTATION Ensure that religion or belief is incorporated into the wider Equality and Diversity Strategy to reflect compliance with the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. 4. RELIGION AND BELIEF Ensure that religion or belief is incorporated into the wider Equality and Diversity Strategy to reflect compliance with the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. 5. AGE DISCRIMINATION Ensure that age discrimination is incorporated into the wider Equality and Diversity Strategy to reflect compliance with forthcoming European legislation on Age Discrimination 2008 6. GOVERNANCE Widen the diversity of those involved in the University committee and management structure. Review the University mission statement and consider whether there is need to include an explicit commitment to equality and diversity. Activity Responsible Ensure that equality and diversity issues have a more prominent place in the strategic planning process Principal Expected Completion Date Included in the 2004/05 Planning Cycle 7. STAFF RECRUITMENT, PROMOTION, RETENTION Review and develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with legislation and promotion of equality. Director of HR September 2006 Ensure that admissions procedures are carried out consistently and fairly and that staff are aware of responsibilities under equality legislation. Director of Registry and Secretariat September 2005 Use student data to inform recruitment and marketing strategy. Head of Recruitment & Admissions Ensure that employment policies and procedures are appropriately and equitably implemented across the institution. Ensure staff have adequate training and information in equality and diversity to be able to meet requirements to prevent discrimination and promote equality in relation to staff and students. Ensure equalities issues are mainstreamed into development activities where appropriate 8. STUDENT RECRUITMENT, PROMOTION, RETENTION Encourage applications from all groups. Target marketing initiatives at underrepresented groups and wider society. Continue initiatives on widening participation and retention in relation to students from under-represented groups. Head of Student Services 9. PEDAGOGY AND ASSESSMENT Establish and monitor targets in relation to Vice-Principal attainment, progress, retention and completion (Learning and rates. Teaching) Ensure criteria for assessment are clear and September 2006 Activity Responsible fair to all students. Deans of Faculty Ensure that a sound understanding of equality and diversity underpins teaching, learning and assessment. Heads of School Expected Completion Date Detailed action plans with timescales to be developed in relation to all these actions Promote a visible commitment to racial equality in modules and programmes. Ensure positive action in the promotion of diversity in the curriculum. 10. TEACHING AND LEARNING Ensure all methods of teaching are equality Vice Principal proofed. (Learning and Teaching) Promote module in diversity and equality in Directors of HR / the induction programme for new staff. Centre for Academic Celebrate and promote good practice. Practice 11. RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER Review existing research strategy to ensure Head of RICO integration of institutional equality objectives. Academic Strategy Group Support and encourage the adoption of the Equality guidelines for RAE 2008. Include an explicit Race Equality statement in Convener, the Research Code of Practice and Research Research Strategy. Degrees Committee Celebrate and promote good practice. 12. SERVICE DELIVERY Develop culturally appropriate services that Director of reflect needs of current/future students/staff SFMBS Director of HR Identify key areas e.g. staff – finance, security, janitorial, catering students – HR, Department maintenance. Heads September 2005 April 2006 June 2005 September 2005 September 2005 Ensure that equality is a feature of all service design, development and implementation. Ensure equality awareness amongst frontline staff and introduce training and awareness sessions. Ensure that the implementation of a Director of September Activity Responsible transparent complaints procedure is in place. Registry and Secretariat Expected Completion Date 2004 Promote a pro-active approach in responding cultural needs. Encourage feedback. 13. OUTSOURCING AND FINANCIAL PROCUREMENT Review and monitor the procurement process for its compliance with equal opportunities and race relations. Director of SFMBS December 2005 Place a requirement from suppliers and contractors that they have effective race equality policies and procedures. Head of Finance Actively encourage the incorporation of race equality and equal opportunities dimensions into specifications and tender documents etc. 14. MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION Implement the Equality Challenge Unit good practice guidelines and embed in the University Communications Strategy. Director of Marketing June 2005 15. PARTERNSHIPS AND EXTERNAL LINKS Build and develop links with local minority groups and organisations. Head of Student Services June 2005 More strategic analysis needed. Head of RICO Review of publicity on marketing materials. Raise the profile of Equal Opportunities on the Web and in Promotional documentation. Publish policy on the web. Publish the Equality Audit and Framework. Celebrate and promote good practice. Encourage greater dialogue with and participation by these groups. Increase and celebrate participation in initiatives to encourage diversity. 16. COMPLAINTS Review complaints procedures to ensure sensitivity to issues of equality and diversity Director of Registry and September 2005 Activity Responsible Secretariat Ensure the fair implementation of complaints procedures. Include monitoring criteria that is relevant to under represented. Promote widely an open complaints procedure. Expected Completion Date 14 Dimensions of the Strategy The implementation of the strategy has been phased and prioritised to meet the requirements of legislation. Implementation and Monitoring Legislation Governance QMU Equality and Diversity Strategy Staff Recruitment, Promotion, Retention Strategy Phase 1 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Disability Policy Student Recruitment, Promotion, Retention Pedagogy and Assessment Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 Race Relations Policy Learning and Teaching Strategy Phase 2 Research Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 Religion and Belief Sexual Orientation Service Delivery Marketing and Communication Forthcoming European legislation on Age Discrimination 2008 Age Discrimination Partnerships and External Links Complaints Appendix a Management Structures for Equality and Diversity Academic Council Institutional Vision and Mission Governing Body Strategic Plan SMG Strategic Equality Framework Equal Opportunities Committee Equality and Diversity Policy Data Analysis Report Extracts External Policy Analysis Data Monitoring Student Staff Impact Assessment Policy Review Strategic/ Activity Planning Annual Course/Service Review Annual Monitoring Review Appendix B Queen Margaret University Equal Opportunities Committee – Purpose, Aims and Terms of Reference Purpose: To set the strategic framework for equality of opportunity in service provision and in employment. Functions: To advise the Principal and Governing Body on the implementation of all aspects of the University's equal opportunities policy and to monitor progress of that policy; To consider and report on all matters relating to the formulation, implementation, evaluation and review of equal opportunities policies across the University and on the fulfilment of the University's statutory obligations. Terms of Reference: 1. To consider the implications of changes in legislation for the implementation of equal opportunities in the University; and generally to advise on any related issues, alerting the Planning & Resources Committee and other committees of the implications of current practices for equal opportunities; 2. To prepare or instigate appropriate policies, advice and guidance in relation to equal opportunities; 3. To monitor implementation of equal opportunities policies in the institution and to receive reports as requested from relevant areas within the University; 4. To instigate as appropriate independent audit of the implementation of the institution’s equality of opportunity policy; 5. To establish working groups to investigate and report on the equal opportunities dimension of any aspect of the University's policies and procedures and to receive feedback from staff and students on relevant issues; 6. To prepare and maintain an institutional action plan, including performance targets, to ensure that the equal opportunities policies are translated into programmes of action; 7. To define and request resources required to deliver this implementation plan; 8. To assist academic and support areas in the implementation of University equal opportunities policies; 9. To maintain sector links with professional bodies e.g. Equality Challenge Unit 10. To report regularly to the Planning & Resources Committee and to Governing Body through the Principal. N.B. equal opportunities relates to gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, harassment & bullying. Appendix C Extract from QMU Race Equality Policy 1. Race Equality Policy Statement 1.1. Queen Margaret University is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and good race relations. 1.2. Existing levels of under-representation of staff and students from minority ethnic groups diminishes the richness of the University’s culture. Lack of understanding and awareness of race and ethnicity can reduce diversity in the Curriculum or impact on the allocation of social space for staff and students. This combined with increased public awareness of race discrimination demonstrates the requirement to promote and articulate the University’s urgent commitment to equality in this specific area. 2. Background 2.1. The 1997 Dearing Report4 recommended that “all institutions identify and remove barriers that inhibit recruitment and progression for particular groups” and monitor and publish the progress towards turning equal opportunities commitments into reality in Higher Education. 2.2. In 1999, as a result of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the Macpherson Report 5 identified institutional racism as: “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages ethnic minority people” 2.3. The report “Ethnicity and Employment in Higher Education” 6 has been the most comprehensive study to date examining the position of black and minority staff in academic and related employment. Some of the major findings were as follows: 4 there has been less progress on ensuring racial equality in Higher Education in the last few years than in sex equality; black and ethnic minority students make up an increasing proportion of university students and yet this is not reflected in the make up of teaching staff, or those in senior administrative posts. Staff classifying themselves as Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black Caribbean and Black 'Other' are significantly underrepresented in academic posts. nationally, minority ethnic groups are over-represented in fixed term research posts. One in four black and minority ethnic academics said 1997 The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (NCIHE)—the Dearing Committee 1999 The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Report of an Inquiry by Sir William Macpherson of Cluny. 6 Modood, Fenton and Carter (2002) Ethnicity and Employment in Higher Education, Policy Studies Institute 5 they had experienced discrimination in job applications and promotions and also experienced isolation and lack of support. One in five said they had experienced racial harassment or abuse from staff or students. Minority ethnic academics with nine or more years of service are only about half as likely to be professors as their white peers. The position of minority ethnic women, especially non-British women, is the most disadvantaged. there have been a number of well-publicised successful Employment Tribunal cases involving academic staff alleging racial discrimination against Higher Education Institutions, in the last few years. Some common manifestations of institutional racism, which are important to note are: 'it doesn't happen here' - a denial of the possibility of discriminatory practice within an institution in the absence of accurate data, or without consulting those most likely to be on the receiving end of discrimination, or a refusal to accept such findings; a 'colour blind approach', which treats everyone the same and which does not acknowledge or address the differing needs of black and minority staff and therefore potentially marginalizes their perspective; abdication of one's personal responsibility for tackling racism, by not challenging others' behaviour or attitudes, as 'it does not directly affect me', or for fear of unpopularity or reprisals; failing to incorporate race issues within day-to-day practice, procedures and mainstream activity; lack of awareness and understanding about how structures and individuals unwittingly perpetuate racism, without attempting to attend training, or to be self-aware about one's own assumptions, behaviour and attitudes, or to acquire new knowledge and act on it; under-representation of specific groups within the organisation, particularly at a senior and influential level, the absence of a 'minority' perspective on key decision-making bodies and fora; a belief that there are no barriers within the institution and/or insufficient recognition of discrimination at an earlier educational level, i.e. a lack of awareness that the playing field is not level. The assumption that setting targets for black and ethnic minority staff will entail lowering standards or no longer appointing on merit; a weak commitment in practice, to implementing the policies that institutions subscribe to on paper. 2.4. The Race Relations Act, 1976 as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, places a positive general Duty on a wide range of public authorities, including Higher Education Institutions, to promote racial equality. This duty means that in all its identified relevant functions, the University must have “due regard” to the need to: Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination; Promote equality of opportunity; and Promote good relations between people of different racial groups. 2.5. Specific duties have been introduced to assist institutions meet the general duty. These include: Prepare a written statement of our policy for race equality; Assess the impact of all policies on staff and students of different racial groups; Monitor, with reference to these racial groups, the admission and progress of students, and the recruitment, retention and career progression of staff Include in the written statement of its Race Equality Policy, an indication of its arrangements for publishing that statement and the results of its assessment and monitoring. 2.6. This policy has been developed with regard to the Code of Practice issued by the Commission for Racial Equality7. Appendix A provides a definition and prioritisation of functions and responsibilities in relation to each strand of the general duty. This policy will be implemented through our Race Equality Action Plan which will support the Strategic Equality Framework. The University is mindful of the need to comply with European legislation and the Bologna agreement. In 2004/05 the Equal Opportunities Committee will work to ensure that the University proactively engages with the requirements of the legislation. 3. Commitment 3.1. Queen Margaret University is fully committed to leading its staff and students in a period of culture change. It wishes to exceed the requirements of the general duty and the specific duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination; promotion of equality of opportunity; and promotion of good relations between people of different racial groups. 3.2. Queen Margaret University will ensure that in the conduct of all its activities, steps are taken to promote equality of opportunity, to promote good relations between different racial groups, and to avoid the occurrence of racial discrimination, whether direct or indirect. The promotion of race equality will be central to future staff development activity. 3.3. Any discriminatory behaviour, including harassment or bullying by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and may be regarded as grounds for disciplinary process, which may result in expulsion or dismissal. 3.4. Failure to comply with the University’s Race Equality Policy could lead to the individual and the institution being in breach of the law. The University will take action if there is any attempt by its students, staff or other service providers to discriminate against the people whom the Act protects. 4. Responsibilities 4.1. The Governing Body is committed to its legal responsibility to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and promote race equality in all aspects of its activities as an employer and provider of Higher Education. The Principal, acting on behalf of the Governing Body, 2002 Commission for Racial Equality – Framework for a Race Equality Policy for Higher Education Institutions 7 will take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure compliance with the policy. 4.2. The Principal and his reports are responsible for ensuring that the institution fulfils its duties in accordance with such arrangements. The Strategic Management Group (SMG) is responsible for ensuring the policy is consulted upon and communicated to all members of the University community and external stakeholders. 4.3. SMG will ensure that the monitoring and assessment data produced under this policy is published annually (Refer to Section 10) and used to expand, revise, update, improve and maintain policy implementation. 4.4. The Equal Opportunities Committee, on which the Students' Union is represented, is responsible for reporting and monitoring, by reference to those racial groups, the admission and progression of students, and the recruitment and career progress of staff. The Equal Opportunities Committee, guided by Race Equality Working Group, will report to and advise SMG on the implementation of the policy and its impact. 4.5. The Equal Opportunities Committee will produce a twice-yearly progress report, on the implementation and monitoring of the policy, to SMG and Governing Body. 4.6. All committees are responsible for ensuring that this race equality policy is embedded in their duties and functions in relation to both students and staff. In addition, at Faculty Level, key named members of staff have been identified as academic champions of Equal Opportunities. A similar approach will be applied to support areas. 4.7. All students and staff are required to be responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity, promotes good relations between different racial groups, and avoids the occurrence of racial discrimination, whether direct or indirect.