Equality and Diversity for Students
Here at City, University of London we welcome students of different genders, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations, faiths, ages and backgrounds, all equally, and all without discrimination. We hope for our University community to be as diverse, vibrant and accessible as possible, and so we are continually trying to work to ensure that all students feel welcome, safe and able to achieve their absolute best while studying with us.
What do we mean by ‘equality and diversity’?
Equality: ensuring that all students have equal opportunities to engage, thrive and succeed at City. This doesn’t mean treating everyone the same, but ensuring the correct support is in place to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to reach their full potential.
Diversity: ensuring that City is a place where there is a fair representation of all different types of people and students, and that all of these different groups are fully recognised, accepted and championed.
City employs a dedicated Student Equality and Diversity Officer to ensure that City is meeting its legal obligations, and is taking serious and progressive steps to ensure that all groups of students feel represented, accepted and able to achieve across their time at City.
To find out more about this work, or if something isn’t going as well as it could be, please get in touch.
As a public sector body in the United Kingdom, City must meet its legal obligations as set out in the Equality Act 2010. This means that City must actively and consistently work to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
This means actively introducing, maintaining and continually improving measures to provide equality of opportunity for all of our students, staff and visitors, and to prevent or resolve any forms of harassment, discrimination, victimisation or other intolerance amongst our students and staff.
The Equality Act also establishes Protected Characteristics. These are markers of identity which many of us use and relate to every day, which it would be illegal to treat someone differently because of. These are:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy or Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
These are the legal terms used in the Equality Act, but we might use different terms when we talk about supporting our students. You can find out more about each of these, and the support we have available, in the links below.
You can learn more about some of our other legal requirements around equality and diversity, on our Human Resources Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpages.
Students with disabilities and/or learning differences are able to access tailored and targeted support from a variety of services within the Learning Success team at City, including the Disability Support team, Neurodiversity Support team, and Academic Learning Support team.
Disability Support, encompassing students with diagnosed physical disabilities, mental health difficulties and long-term health conditions, support students with the following:
- 1-2-1 specialist support and mentoring
- Review of accessibility needs and provision/assistance with gaining support in order to meet these needs
- Access to financial support in order to enable students in their studies
Mental Health Support
Academic Learning Support
Mature Students are defined as students aged 21 years or over at the point of enrolment on their course.
Time spent at university marks a period of significant transition and change for most students, no matter your age. Such transitions are connected with every aspect of life: prior and current employment, families, home and your sense of belonging, and discovering more about yourself and your interests. You are faced with new social situations and relationships, as well as given the opportunity to look forward to the enhanced roles and responsibilities which may follow your graduation from your course.
To help with this, the Student Counselling and Mental Health Service (SCMHS) facilitate group sessions, providing the opportunity for you to listen to others’ experiences, share your own experiences and learn strategies to cope with any difficulties you may go through.
It is helpful to discover that you are not alone in experiencing difficulties, distress or confusion, to realise that others can understand you and help you to understand.
Group for Mature Students – on Thursday mornings (during term time).
For further information about support specific to Mature Students, or to make suggestions or raise queries about the provision available to Mature Students at City, University of London, email Jack Kilker, Student Equality and Diversity Officer, or 020 7040 0475.
LGBTQ students would include those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual or another sexual or romantic orientation which is considered to be a minority.
Support for students relating to sexual orientation is often linked to and grouped with gender identity (using the acronym LGBT), and so groups and support available at City across sexual orientation and gender identity are largely led by the Students’ Union LGBT Officer and LGBT Society.
The LGBT Society hold socials, attend campaigns and run educational events. City University LGBT aim to provide the following for self-defining LGBTQ students and their straight allies:
- Provide support and a safe space
- Promote and represent the views and interests of LGBTQ students
- Hold social and educational events
- Campaign on LGBTQ rights and issues to raise awareness and work with the wider community
- Be fun and inclusive!
City’s SU also have a dedicated LGBT Officer, elected by students at City to represent issues specific to LGBTQ student communities at City.
You can find out more about the Officer and the specific work which they support on the Students’ Union website.
For further matters relating to sexual orientation for students at City, including harassment and discrimination, equality monitoring or policy advice, contact Jack Kilker, Student Equality and Diversity Officer, Jack Kilker or 020 7040 0475.
Transgender, Intersex and Gender Non-Conforming Students
City has a policy in place to specifically support transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming (TIGNC) members of our University community, and a working group of staff and students who are constantly reviewing support available to students who relate to any of the above identities.
The Transgender, Intersex and Gender Non-Conforming People Policy was established in July 2017, to affirm City’s commitment to support students who identify as a part of the TIGNC community. The policy maps out key principles for supporting TIGNC individuals (the introduction of gender-neutral language, avoiding misgendering, availability of facilities, etc.), and provides a named contact for TIGNC students and staff at City.
City provides the following to try and support students who may be transitioning while studying at the University, or to support those who have a trans history, intersex identity or gender non-conforming identity:
- An action plan between a relevant staff member and the student so that staff can be as useful as possible
- Mx is available as a title on the Student Records system
- Gender-neutral accessible toilets are currently available in Drysdale Building (Lower Ground) and Centenary Building, with plans to convert toilets and changing facilities across City by the end of the 2018/19 academic year
The named contact for TIGNC students is Jack Kilker, Student Equality and Diversity Officer, contactable by email or telephone (020 7040 0475), or based at the Careers, Student Development and Outreach desk in Drysdale Building.
Students of Faith, Religion and Belief
City has a multi-faith Chaplaincy with a team of dedicated staff working in the City Faith Centre. Three religions are represented within the Chaplaincy team (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), with multiple Christian denominations accounted for (Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Orthodox).
The Chaplaincy team are available to provide pastoral support to all students, regardless of faith or religious identity. Whether you follow a particular religion, define yourself as spiritual, or do not consider yourself to have any religious or spiritual faith at all, the Chaplaincy team can provide both advice and guidance relevant to a specific religion, and more general and holistic pastoral support.
The City Faith Centre also provides dedicated spaces for prayer, including a Multi-Faith Room, a Quiet Reflection Lounge, and dedicated prayer rooms for Muslim students. The University Imam also works with Faith Societies and the Student Voice team to coordinate weekly Jummah Prayer for Muslim students during term time.
There are also Wudhu facilities available for male and female students in the City Faith Centre, and behind the Great Hall, College Building. Halal food is served in the food outlets at the Northampton Square site, and these are clearly marked.
Student Parents and Carers
City has a Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Student Parent Guidance in place to ensure that we are providing effective support to students who are expecting, adopting, or who are parents or have caring responsibilities.
This guidance maps out the support options which are available to students. This also includes advice for staff to whom you may disclose your status as a parent, carer or someone who is expecting, and best practice accommodations for exams and assessments, interrupting your studies and supporting international students who may have specific issues relating to their visas.
The guidance also provides information on support and processes within City for the unfortunate event of miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death.
For any further questions or advice relating to Student Parents and Carers, or to make recommendations for additional support which could be developed at City, email Jack Kilker, Student Equality and Diversity Officer, or 020 7040 0475.
Harassment and Bullying
City, University of London, strives to provide a learning and working environment which is free of harassment and bullying for all students, staff and visitors to the institution.
The Equality Act 2010 requires public sector bodies, like City, to foster good relationships between different groups, and create a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for everyone who wishes to engage with City, regardless of their protected characteristics. This includes working to identify, challenge and prevent harassment and bullying wherever we’re aware of it, and to provide effective support to students, staff or visitors who might have had a negative experience of City.
What do we mean by harassment and bullying? The Equality Act 2010 provides the following definitions:
‘Unwanted conduct relating to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.’
The protected characteristics are key to understanding behaviour which can be characterised as harassment, and they are as follows:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy or Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
Although Bullying is not legally defined by the Equality Act, the following serves as a useful definition:
‘Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.’
Bullying may be behaviour similar to what we would understand as harassment, but does not have to relate to one of the protected characteristics, like we would expect of harassment. However, neither behaviour is acceptable or tolerated at City, so if you or any of your peers are experiencing harassment and bullying, we would urge you to report this.
At City, we have a policy on Student Bullying and Harassment, as well as mechanisms for reporting your experience to the institution. We can also provide you with support, either through a Harassment Adviser, one of our relevant support services, through a member of staff you have an existing relationship with, or through external services and agencies who are experts in this area.
Visit our dedicated webpage to find out more about harassment and bullying at City, or find out more about our Harassment Advisers.