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					Final Draft

Combined Equality Scheme Annual Report 2008

Part 1: Introduction
Our first Combined Equality Scheme was published in December 2006. Following a change of Vice Chancellor in January 2007, the Scheme was subsequently revised and our Board of Governors formally approved it in July 2007. This is the first progress report of our revised Scheme. In compiling this report, we have sought to satisfy our statutory reporting requirements under race, disability and gender equality legislation, each with a different reporting schedule. The first anniversary of our Scheme’s approval, however, provides a more timely opportunity to reflect on progress against the key action points, and to mention other equality-related activities and successes that have occurred since its adoption. Our Scheme was informed in part by responses to staff and student surveys carried out during the latter half of 2006, against which we expect to benchmark progress. We expect to carry out similar surveys later in 2008. In order to incorporate statistical evidence from these and other data sources, we expect to produce our next progress report on or about the second anniversary of publication of our revised Combined Equality Scheme, in July 2009. We expect to undertake a full review of our Scheme by July 2010. In December 2007, our Board of Governors endorsed a new statement of organisational Vision and Values, which have informed strategic planning discussions with Faculties and Support Services since the start of 2008. This report also attempts to establish links between previously agreed equality actions and the new Vision and Values wherever possible. Our Combined Equality Scheme is published on line at http://web.anglia.ac.uk/equalops/policies.phtml

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Part 2: Progress against key action points
1. Undertake annual monitoring of student academic performance, analysed by Faculty, and by race, disability, gender and age.

Current position
Published student data normally includes numbers of applicants, registered students, and withdrawn students over the course of an academic year, analysed by race, disability, gender and age. Such data is published annually within the Student and Corporate Profile. Data indicating academic progress has been provided to Faculties on request, though not routinely, and to date it has not yet appeared in the Student and Corporate Profile. A small working party was convened to discuss possible reporting templates, frequency, presentation and level of detail. It was agreed that this would need to be mainstreamed, providing not only raw data but interpretation at both corporate and Faculty level, with the ability to obtain deeper analysis (e.g., by academic programme) on request. This should enable Deans and other academic managers to spot trends and better evaluate progress against student quality benchmarks, also being developed. Since then, this project has been managed by INSPIRE.

Objectives
  Deans of Faculty and Programme Leaders can identify whether there are significant statistical differences in degree attainment levels, when analysed by students’ race, disability, gender and age. Where variation in attainment rates is found, this will inform a review of learning, teaching and assessment practices, as per the recommendations in the Equality Challenge Unit and the Higher Education Academy publication, Ethnicity, Gender and Degree Attainment Project – Final Report (January 2008).

Strategies
  Develop reporting templates, focusing in the first instance on degree attainment rates at corporate and Faculty level. Deans and other users will provide feedback as to usefulness, and inform continued development of data provision.

Aspirational target
 That there are no significant differences in degree attainment rates between student groups at Anglia Ruskin University, when analysed by race, disability, gender and age.

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2.

Provide student monitoring data for each Faculty, and ensure that year-on-year reports are presented to Deans on a regular basis.

Current position
As mentioned, the Student and Corporate Profile uses student monitoring data to inform its contents. Here are some key statistics (with national comparators, where known, in brackets):  70% (58.4%) of our undergraduate students and 63% (53.4%) of our postgraduate students are female;  56% of our undergraduates are aged 25 or over;  5.9% (6.5%) of our students have told us they have a disability;  17.6% of our total students are known to be from an ethnic minority background (against 15.1% of UK domiciled);  53% (33%) of our undergraduate students and 80% (56.5%) of our postgraduates study part time, making us one of the leading providers of part time higher education in the UK.

Objectives
  To enable Deans of Faculty and Faculty Recruitment Managers to identify trends in student recruitment when analysed by race, disability, gender and age. In the event there is under-representation, or declining representation of particular groups compared to others, then steps can be undertaken to understand and address the reasons.

Strategies
  Student and Corporate Data providers to develop reporting templates, providing year on year trend analysis, with regional demographic information for reference. Deans and other student service providers to provide feedback as to usefulness, and inform continued development of data provision.

Aspirational targets
    That 20% of our UK campus-based students are from outside the EU; That our UK-domiciled student profile reflects national demographic profiles in respect of race and disability; That we maintain our position as a leading provider of education to mature students; That we attempt to improve our student gender balance by recruiting a higher proportion of male students into the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health & Social Care, and a higher proportion of female students into Faculty of Science & Technology postgraduate programmes.

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3.

Maintain existing relationships with local community and employer groups, developing new ones as appropriate; and take part in regular equality benchmarking activities where resources permit. Ensure that where best practice is identified through these processes, it is promoted externally as well as internally.
 For several years we have been members of employer groups including Opportunity Now, the Employers Forum on Disability, the Employers Forum on Age, and the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. We are also developing productive working relationships with the Equality & Human Rights Commission and the Government Equalities Office. Within the HE sector, we belong to the Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) co-ordinated by the Equality Challenge Unit, and the Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network (HEEON). At a more local level, we are members of the Essex Equality & Diversity Network co-ordinated by Essex County Council. In September 2006, we were invited to apply to the Government’s Exemplar Employers initiative, co-ordinated by Opportunity Now for the Government Equalities Office. Our case study – based on our Women’s Network – was published on Opportunity Now’s Exemplar Employer web pages in February 2008. We have spoken about our Women’s Network at the University of Salford in October 2007, and at HEEON’s conference in January 2008, both by invitation. We have recently been invited to contribute to the update of the Equal Pay Review Toolkit, originally developed by the former Equal Opportunities Commission. Our Flexible Working initiative – which won us an Opportunity Now award in 2004 – continues to be promoted externally, most recently at a development seminar at the Association of University Administrators annual conference in York, March 2008. In September 2007 we took part in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index benchmarking exercise for the first time. Detailed feedback revealed that had we taken part a year earlier with the same responses, we would have achieved a “top 100 employers” rating. However, by 2008, the threshold for this rating had been raised. In January 2008, we joined the Mindful Employer Scheme, which provides practical advice and guidance for employers in respect of mental health issues in the workplace.

Current position

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We are currently investigating a holistic benchmarking tool being developed by the Employers Forum on Age, against which to monitor progress against all six diversity strands.

Objectives
 To be recognised as an exemplar of good practice within the HE sector, and externally, as appropriate.

Strategies
  Contribute where appropriate to community and employer group activities, including consultations, working parties, and employment benchmarking exercises Publish our successes in BULLETIN and other internal and external communication methods, including recruitment literature

Aspirational target
 There are no specific targets attached to this action.

4.

Draw up a Code of Practice which includes the relevant equality dimensions, and use it to inform the selection of participants for the Research Assessment Exercise 2008.
 The Code of Practice was drawn up as planned and disseminated as part of RAE2008 preparations. This included staff training sessions on the equality considerations within the Code, co-ordinated by Research & Development Services. 42% of those selected for RAE were female, reflecting our gender balance at Senior Management Grade (better than normal for the sector). Since then we have contributed to a consultation on the proposed Research Excellence Framework, commenting on the lack of explicit equality considerations therein, compared to RAE2008. There is nothing further to report at this stage.

Current position

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5.

Closely investigate Student Satisfaction Surveys to learn where aspects of student life can be improved across all student groups, particularly those showing lower levels of satisfaction.
 Results from the annual Student Experience Survey in 2006, cross tabbed by gender, race, disability and age, have been used to inform the Action Plan in our Combined Equality Scheme. The findings of this

Current position

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survey and those of the 2006 National Student Survey (NSS), together with our responses, were reported to the Corporate Management Team in February 2007 and are published on ANET, at http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/staff/NSS_SES_2006.doc  Reports from the 2007 Student Experience and National Student Surveys have been provided to the Student Experience Committee for discussion and action. This committee is chaired the Deputy Vice Chancellor for HR and Student Experience, and includes current students and representatives from the Students Union. Minutes from the Student Experience Committee are published on ANET. Since July 2007 we have been involved in a Higher Education Academy Inclusive Practice initiative through an 18-month project entitled Equality Proofing the Curriculum. Led by INSPIRE and managed by an interdisciplinary project team, the project has been informed by a student survey specifically aimed at disabled students – an action identified in our Scheme. This revealed that the majority of disabled students were satisfied with the provisions in place, but that just under two-thirds of students reported they had encountered problems in learning and teaching directly related to their disability. A survey of academic staff has helped to identify their training and development requirements. These are expected to be met in part through the Equality Proofing the Curriculum project, and sustained through an on-going programme of academic staff development. o In the interests of longer-term sustainability, the EqualityProofing the Curriculum project also includes aspects of academic administration and management, which are being developed with a view to mainstreaming inclusive learning and teaching practice as standard.

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Objectives
 To ensure mechanisms are in place to audit, co-ordinate and develop inclusive teaching practice within our University.

Strategies
  Successful completion and dissemination of Equality Proofing the Curriculum project Ongoing programme of continuing professional development opportunities for academic staff.

Aspirational target
 9 out of 10 students would recommend us to a friend. Ideally, this figure will be consistent across all student groups, analysed by gender, ethnicity, disability and age.

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6.

Provide comprehensive equality reporting at all stages of the staff recruitment cycle, e.g., at application, shortlisting and appointment.
 Equality monitoring has been a feature of HR practice, including staff recruitment, since the introduction of the computerised HR Information System in 2000. Periodic data validation exercises have contributed to the high proportion of our staff providing equality monitoring data. Workforce reports are compiled annually, showing progress against agreed equality targets, and are published within the Corporate and Staff Profile reports. As of September 2007 we had either exceeded or were close to meeting our targets set for September 2008, apart from that relating to gender balance at Grades 1 – 3. We introduced equality monitoring across the full range of equality strands in our staff survey of October 2006, which staff could complete anonymously if they wished. The results of this survey informed our Combined Equality Scheme. In the summer of 2007, we undertook an organisation wide staff data validation exercise, in which staff were asked to provide personal data on all six strands for the first time. We have also revised our equality monitoring form for job applicants, who are asked to provide a full range of equality monitoring data, including sexual orientation and religion. Reporting limitations within the existing HR system have made it difficult to extract useful comparative data in the recruitment process until recently. Initial analysis of recruitment data at application, shortlisting and appointment stages suggest that at corporate level during 2007: o The difference in appointment rates of disabled and nondisabled applicants was less than one percentage point; o Applicants from visible ethnic minority groups were as likely to be appointed as applicants who identified as white; o Male and female applicants were appointed in the same percentages in which they had applied.  We have, however, observed improvements in the numbers of applicants providing equality monitoring data during the past three years. Although some applicants indicate “prefer not to say”, a decreasing number of applicants leave these questions unanswered.

Current position

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Objective
 To improve the provision of high quality staff recruitment data to Deans of Faculty and Heads of Support Services.

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Strategies
  Replace existing HR Information System. This is planned for 2009. Agree nature and frequency of data dissemination to Equality & Diversity Group, and Corporate Management Team (CMT).

Aspirational target
 Our current employment targets expire in September 2008; new targets will be set in due course.

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Part 3: Other equality and diversity activities
The National Framework Agreement has now been implemented with all staff having successfully been migrated onto a single pay spine. This has been informed by a robust job evaluation process. An equal pay review is planned. Following an invitation issued by Opportunity Now, we have recently indicated our willingness to be involved in updating the Equal Opportunities Commission Equal Pay Toolkit. We are conscious of occupational segregation issues in the workplace, and the impact this also has on recruitment to our academic programmes of study. Through our careers service and student recruitment processes, we seek to provide advice and guidance that challenges existing gender stereotypes, thus encouraging our students to reach their full potential. In this way, we can contribute – albeit indirectly – to erosion of the persistent gender pay gap. The new requirement for a degree or equivalent for jobs rated at Grade 4 or higher has raised concerns amongst existing staff about their career progression prospects, and what qualifications could be interpreted as “equivalent”. This requirement is of particular relevance to female colleagues, who comprise 76.3% of staff employed at Grades 1 – 3. Clarification was provided at the April 2008 Women’s Conference, and further information about what will be regarded as equivalent qualifications was published in the June 2008 edition of Bulletin. In 2007 we launched an on-line equality training module suitable for all staff. To date over 130 people including the Vice Chancellor have successfully completed the module. In the summer of 2007, we revised our flexible working guidance documents for staff and managers, combining these into a single guide for all staff. The new guide promotes the organisational as well as the individual benefits that can be achieved through flexible approaches to organising work. The right to request flexible working extends to all staff. Our policy impact assessment form has been revised and is currently being piloted for ease of use. Plans are currently being formulated for online publication of completed assessments.

Report prepared by Faith Marchal HR Consultant – Diversity Endorsed by the Corporate Management Team, 30th June 2008

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