Equality chartermarks

The Equality Act 2010 requires all public authorities to fulfil the requirements set out by the Act in the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Under the PSED, the School is required to gather staff data across all protected characteristics.

The School has a statutory obligation to submit certain data to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA). The School provides HESA with equality information as this is necessary for monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN award is a national charter mark that recognises the advancement of gender equality in higher education, encompassing representation, progression and success for all.

The Athena SWAN:

  • helps institutions achieve their gender equality objectives
  • assists institutions to meet equality legislation requirements, as well as the requirements and
  • expectations of some funders and research councils
  • uses a targeted self-assessment framework to support applicants identify areas for positive
  • action as well as recognise and share good practice
  • supports the promotion of inclusive working practices that can increase your the retention of
  • valued academics and professional and support staff, demonstrating your an institution’s commitment to an equitable working environment

SOAS currently holds an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze Award, and is looking to renew its submission.

Race Equality Charter

The Race Equality Charter (REC) is a national charter mark administered by Advance HE that invites institutions to self-reflect on their make-up, policies and practices and implement a sustainable and impactful action plan aimed at reducing and eliminating systemic and institutional barriers for Balck, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.

The REC is based on five guiding principles:

  1. 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. UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
  3. In developing solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
  4. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students 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 should be considered wherever possible

SOAS is in the process of becoming a member of the REC with Advance HE, and is aiming to submit for its first Bronze award by 2025.