Research Degrees Student Handbook 2012-2013
1.7 Equality and diversity
Our vision of a fair and just society
We are creating an inclusive university community and a society:
- where people are treated with dignity and respect
- where inequalities are challenged, and
- where we anticipate and respond positively to different needs and circumstances
so that everyone can achieve their potential.
Our equality and diversity principles
- We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.
- We believe that discrimination or exclusion based on individual characteristics, circumstances such as age; disability; caring or dependency responsibilities; gender or gender identity; marriage and civil partnership status; political opinion; pregnancy and maternity; race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; socio-economic background; trade union membership status or other distinctions, represents a waste of talent and a denial of opportunity for self-fulfilment.
- We recognise that patterns of under-representation and differences in outcomes at The Open University can be challenged through positive action programmes.
- We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs. We will not allow these differences to be manifested in a way that is hostile or degrading to others.
- We expect commitment and involvement from all our staff, students, partners and providers of goods and services in working towards the achievement of our vision.
As a student you should:
- treat all members of the University community with dignity and respect for their rights and beliefs.
- challenge or report incidents of discrimination and bullying.
- respond positively and inclusively to individual differences.
Our policies, strategies, action plans and codes
For further details about equality and diversity at The Open University, including our Equality Schemes, please visit our website.
The University has two policies for dealing with incidences of bullying and harassment, one is for students and the other is for staff:
- Student Code for Dealing with Bullying and Harassment
- Bullying and Harassment Policy, Code of Practice on behaviour at work for staff
You will find the Student Code on our 'Essential documents' website at:
Contact the Research Degrees Office for advice if you’re not sure who to contact. Staff there will be pleased to help you, and your enquiry will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
You can also send equality and diversity policy enquiries to the OU Equality and Diversity Office (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The office offers general information and guidance on University equality and diversity policy.
However, it cannot normally take an active part in issues of an individual nature, concerning cases involving staff or students where these are being handled by existing institutional complaints, appeals or grievance processes.