Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Principles around equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the University’s values and strategic priorities.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee was established in 2019, with the aim to mainstream EDI in all that we do across the University and its community.

Ali Newell and Sanctuary Walk participants
Sanctuary Walk for Refugees

The recommendations of the Thematic Review of Support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students, which reported in 2019, are being taken forward with the new Race Equality & Anti-Racist subcommittee of EDI Committee and associated action plan. Our recent internal review into the experiences of our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities showed us that there is much more we could and should be doing to tackle structural forms of racism and discrimination.

In 2021, the University will launch a community-led process of restorative and reparative justice, through which we will interrogate the role of the University in slavery and colonialism.

Stonewall workplace equality index

The University was delighted to rise 80 places up the rankings in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2020, in recognition of its significant work on LGBT+ inclusion. This reflects the hard work and effort by the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Team in Human Resources, the Staff Pride (LGBT+) Network and other individuals and departments across the University.

Student disability service

In 2019, the Student Disability service focused on improving the speed of access and provision of support for disabled students and students with additional support needs with an increased number of students, up 10 per cent, seeking support.

Sanctuary status

The University is proud to provide sanctuary for academics and young people and was the first UK University to be awarded University of Sanctuary status in June 2017. Our University of Sanctuary status was renewed in July 2020. There are 15 Universities of Sanctuary in the UK; Edinburgh is the first university to be re-awarded this status. In June 2020, the University hosted an online Refugee Week showcasing Edinburgh’s support of refugee projects, centring around World Refugee Day on 20 June, which included the creation of a story book showcasing Edinburgh’s involvement in refugee projects told by refugees, to highlight experiences of those in our community.

Case studies

University moves up 80 places in Stonewall Equality Index 2020

University centre wins Design for Diversity Award

George Floyd Case: University Statement

Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability's anti-racist actions