Diversity is at the core of the University Strategy for 2018 to 2023, which expresses our commitment to taking deliberate steps to build inclusivity and ensure equality of opportunity for all in St Andrews. We will achieve this by promoting diversity within our staff and student body, addressing identifiable causes of inequality, and working to close identified gaps - including the gender and ethnicity pay gaps.
In 2017/18 academic year, we voluntarily published detailed information on our gender pay gap in line with UK Government legislation from which Scottish universities are exempt. This was a clear statement of intent: we will confront inequalities wherever they exist and will be transparent about the progress we are making.
In keeping with this need for transparency, this academic year we have elected to publish our ethnicity pay gap for the first time, as well as our staff equality and diversity report which details our staff population and promotion success rates against the protected characteristics of gender and ethnicity. We have also published our student equality and diversity report which details our student population, attainment, and retention data against the protected characteristics of disability, ethnicity, and gender.
It is clear that there is more work to do. We are putting the effort into learning how better to diversify and support our community, and into understanding our areas for improvement. From this substantial work we will produce positive and permanent change.
In 2019, following an extensive staff and student consultation exercise, we developed the University’s People Strategy and Action Plan to enable our community of academics, professional services staff, and students to work together and help deliver change. These developments will vitalise our ability to make progress.
In addition to appointing the University’s first Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity, Professor Ruth Woodfield, who is leading on the roll-out of the People Strategy, we have increased our equality, diversity and inclusion staff complement to include part-time posts: an EDI Officer, an Equalities in HE Project Manager, and two Area EDI Leads.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on society and on our institutional planning, but nothing will change our commitment to Diverse St Andrews, nor the urgency with which we seek to realise an inclusive and fair culture for everyone. The strategic work necessary to remove identified gaps and to make St Andrews a beacon of diversity, fairness, and inclusivity for both staff and students has commenced, and it will not cease until we achieve our vision.