Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

The University of Northampton is committed to providing a vibrant, ethical and sustainable work, study and living environment that values equality, diversity and inclusion.

This commitment, along with our legal and moral obligations, provides an inclusive environment for staff, students and the public who may be affected by our activities.

The equality and diversity activity is managed through key committees and implemented via formal policies, guidance and plans. The responsibility of equality and diversity extends beyond the University to also include subsidiary companies and collaborative partnerships.

Together @ UON

Our Commitment to Equality and Inclusion

​Together @ UON confirms our commitment to equality and inclusion, underpinned by our belief in taking action. We are dedicated to creating an environment that celebrates equality and harnesses the power of diversity. Together @ UON demonstrates our pledge to our staff, students and partners to nurture and develop an environment where equality and inclusion can thrive whilst we Transform Lives and Inspire Change.

Please read our Vice Chancellor’s declaration to the Together@UON commitment.

UON Commitments

UON has four major commitments in terms of equality, diversity, and inclusion:

  • Racial Equality
  • Disability Confident
  • Standalone Pledge
  • IHRA working definition

Please access the accordions below for more information surrounding our commitments:

  • Building on our Changemaker Values, where social impact and inclusion are key, the University has made a commitment to adhere to the five principles articulated in the Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC). This provides a framework to identify and reflect on how to address the institutional and cultural barriers faced by UON staff from ethnic minorities*.

    The five guiding principles are;

    1. We recognise that racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
    2. We recognise that we cannot reach our full potential unless we benefit from the talents of the whole population and until staff from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
    3. In developing solutions to racial inequalities, we will aim to achieve long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
    4. We recognise that minority ethnic staff are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of and outcomes from/within higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.
    5. All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities will be considered wherever possible.​
    Leadership at U​​ON​
    • As the University Management Team, we will both be, and develop, inclusive UON leaders who;
    • Take a zero-tolerance against perpetrators of racial discrimination Advocate race equality and fully embrace and champion initiatives on race that make inclusion a priority.
    • Develop trust and openness, to create safe spaces for dialogue that explores differences, to achieve mutual understanding and respect
    • Adapt behaviour to work with other individuals and cultures
    • Promote talent, regardless of background recognising that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities
    • Drive results, make things happen, be held to account and avoid empty organisational statements​
    What will this look like at UON?​

    We will explicitly capture our intentions in the Staff Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Priorities 2020-2025 and supporting rolling action plan.

    ​Actions will include;

    1. Continuing to work with our ethnic minority staff and the Global Ethnic Majority Staff Network to eradicate racial inequality and to promote an inclusive and responsive environment
    2. Developing and embedding a new Key Behaviour – Enabling Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    3. Prioritise addressing the ethnic minority Pay Gap
    4. Changing our staff development to include;
        • Developing and providing staff development specifically for ethic minority staff with a view to improving career advancement
        • Increasing engagement of ethnic minority staff with existing staff development opportunities
        • Raising awareness and improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice for all staff through additional awareness training, along with continued and expanded results-focused deployment of unconscious bias training​
    5. Providing space to challenge our own assumptions and experiences and strive to understand the hurt and challenge that ethnic minority colleagues may have been through and go through, as employees or from suffering racism in other forms of everyday life.
    6. Recognising the negative impact on mental health of colleagues who have been affected by discrimination, hear their lived experiences and provide support.
    7. Maintaining a genuine stand against racial discrimination, reviewing HR policies and practices to ensure they are truly inclusive and consider the complexity of microaggressions and support to change poor management practices.
    8. Ensuring that all actions are evidence based and determined by data, addressing any evidence of disproportionate representation of ethnic minority staff in disciplinary, grievance, sickness and performance management processes to resolve potential causes.
    9. Using the Race Equality Charter to inform and challenge actions and outcomes, measure success and at an appropriate time, make a formal application to become a member of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.​

    * We recognised that BAME or BME are often used but are not perfect, We do not want language to distract from action.


  • In September 2019 the University extended our commitment to the Disability Confident Scheme by signing up to level 2 and becoming a Disability Confident employer.

    Previously known as the Two Ticks scheme, this is a voluntary scheme and involves self-assessment against statements relating to recruiting, retaining and developing disabled people and developing our people. Not only does this help disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations but it enables the University to access the valuable skills which disabled people can bring to the University.

    To find out more about the Disability Confident Scheme visit:  https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/

  • We recognise the specific needs of our estranged students and as such we are committed to enhancing our existing provision to ensure it is better targeted and accessible to those students and ensuring it has a positive impact on their attainment, wellbeing, and life chances. Working with our estranged students, we are committed to expanding our provision, building on what works and what our students need.

    Our Standalone Pledge is to create an environment where all estranged students can thrive, with a focus on:


    • The provision of a student benefit package for the three years of undergraduate study to improve student success.
    • The provision of a bursary up to £1,500 for all estranged undergraduate students.
    • Access to temporary and casual work that fits in with studying so students can earn while they learn
    • Access to specialist financial guidance support.
    • Discount on post-graduate course fees


    • Flexible tenancies arrangements for UON accommodation.
    • The University will work with private landlords to improve access to accommodation in the private sector.

    Mental Health and Wellbeing

    • Access to free sports and societies through the Northampton Student Union (NSU)
    • Access to mental health services and counselling.
    • Prioritisation within the university’s wellbeing community.

    Outreach and transition

    • Use of the Student Loans Company data to help identify students
    • Raise the profile of the support available through the University’s website, open days, and induction events.
    • Sign posting to support services through the student hub and as part of our transition in to higher education activities.
    • Working with local partners through our schools and community outreach work to improve pathways to higher education and expand support provision
  • UON’s University Management Team committed to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism in November 2021 and as such the IHRA is included in our Equality and Diversity Policy which directs the work of our student and staff EDI forums.

    For more information about the IHRA and the working definition of anti-Semitism please access the IHRA webpages.

  • Access and Participation Plans (APP) set out how a higher education provider will sustain or improve access, student success and progression among people from under-represented and disadvantaged groups.

    View the full Access and Participation Plan information on our designated webpage.

  • Staff EDI Forum Minutes

    The University’s Staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum oversees and manages the Staff EDI Priorities 2020-25, which outlines ongoing steps taken to achieve the Staff EDI priorities and records ongoing progress.

    Student EDI Forum Minutes

    The University’s Student Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum oversees and manages the Student EDI Plan 2021-25 (Word, 65KB), which outlines ongoing steps taken to achieve the Student EDI priorities and records ongoing progress.

  • Declaration from Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Vice Chancellor.

    I am proud to be Vice Chancellor of an institution that values and promotes equality and inclusion. I pledge my support to both staff and students to ensure under my leadership, that the University of Northampton continues to work together to create a fair and inclusive environment where all individuals can excel.

    Together@UON we will;

    1. Create an inclusive and supportive environment that is safe, cohesive, free from fear and discrimination whilst enabling open discussion by:​
      • Adopting a zero-tolerance approach to all forms hate including bullying and harassment, discrimination and violence.  We will work proactively with individuals who may need support because of race, ethnicity or nationality; religion; mental or physical impairment or disability; sexuality; trans-status; sex; pregnancy or maternity; or age.
      • Embedding equality in everything we do, including in our learning and teaching, research and staff development, ensuring that we value the experiences of all, including those from minority ethnic backgrounds.
      • Ensuring all our activities, policies and procedures, are inclusive and relevant to our diverse community
    2. Actively support all our students and staff in way that is respectful of their privacy and dignity by:​
      • Staff and students from all levels of the organisation and all disciplines working together to create, implement and monitor clear actions achieve our key priorities.Ensure our students and staff receive the support needed to excel in everything they do;
      • Strengthening our support for Mental Health First Aid by investing in further training and creating an environment where students and staff feel comfortable talking about Mental Health issues;
      • Building on our Disability Confidence recognition to ensure all colleagues, regardless of mental or physical impairment or disability, feel supported and confident that we will work with them to remove barriers;
      • Through all out professional student support services, ensure students receive the support needed to excel in their academic studies;
    3. Being pro-active in tackling all inequalities by:Staff and students from all levels of the organisation and all disciplines working together to create, implement and monitor clear actions;
      • Involving students in the recruitment of student facing roles to encourage a diverse and representative workforce.
      • Bringing together the work of the Student Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum and the Staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum to analyse and respond to key equality data and drive forward the equality and inclusion agenda.
      • Encourage and promote the work of networks established to support staff and students with protected characteristics.

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