Equality and diversity | University of Oxford
Equality and diversity
Oxford Pride supporter.
(Image credit: OU).

Equality and diversity

Equality and Diversity Unit

I’ve never felt this free before: from discussing the most esoteric ideas and subjects, to just enjoying myself at Queerfest.

- Jordan, 1st year

The Equality and Diversity Unit works with University bodies (including University Administration and Services), academic divisions and departments to ensure that the University’s pursuit of excellence goes hand in hand with freedom from discrimination and equality of opportunity. The Unit is responsible for the main objectives of the existing equality schemes for race, disability and gender, and works to promote equality across all the protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, religion, belief and age.

The Unit provides practical support and advice to, and about, staff with disabilities and runs the Harassment Advisors’ Network. It also monitors recruitment and promotes awareness of equality and diversity throughout the collegiate University, helping people to understand legislation, their duty to promote equality and the benefits of a diverse, inclusive academic community to research, teaching and outreach.

For up-to-date information on race, gender, disability and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) equality, see the Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

Where do I fit in?

If you have high academic ability and potential, you're the kind of person we'd like to welcome to Oxford.  You will have the chance to make a unique contribution while enjoying the opportunity to study and socialise with talented people from a wide range of backgrounds and with a huge variety of interests. Our students and staff are committed to making Oxford an inclusive environment where we can feel respected and valued. There are many opportunities in Oxford to meet people with whom you may have common experiences and interests. The societies and campaigns listed below are just a few examples of the many ways Oxford University, OUSU, colleges, central services and departments work together to create a positive experience for students and the wider community.

Black and Ethnic minority students
CRAE (the OUSU campaign for Cultural and Racial Awareness and Equality) seeks to celebrate the diversity in Oxford. The Race Equality Network supports staff and students by providing a forum for networking and discussion on issues of race, ethnicity and identity.

CRAE is a safe space within which people can talk freely about hard and often silenced issues. It aims to make Oxford University inclusive and welcoming for people of all racial and cultural backgrounds; and to raise awareness of and celebrate cultural and racial diversities.

- Josh, 3rd year

Female students
In addition to an annual student-run Gender Equality Festival, there is a vibrant Women's Campaign within OUSU. The Campaign aims to create a space where women can meet to talk freely about their experiences and work to enhance the experience of the University’s female population. 

As a member of the Women's Campaign Committee, I am involved in organising weekly discussions and fun events to challenge gender inequality within the university and beyond. In the past year we have held poetry open mics, a comedy night, a SlutWalk and a Feminist Forum.

- Sophie, 2nd year

International students
There are many events and workshops for international students. There are also numerous student societies representing most countries in the world. OUSU also runs an International Students' Campaign to represent all international students at the University.

I was trans rep for the OU LGBTQ Soc 2011-12 and during this time convened a 'Trans 101' lecture series. I was also part of the (successful) campaign to have the gender restrictions for sub fusc removed.

- Gail, 3rd year

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer (LGBTQ) students
LGBTQ Society runs numerous social events, whilst OUSU’s LGBTQ campaign seeks to enhance the experience of LGBTQ students. The University is also a supporter of Oxford Pride, which usually takes place in June each year.

Mature students
Every term there are social events, ranging from welcome drinks to more intimate potluck dinner nights. OUSU's Mature Students' Campaign represents the needs and interests of mature students across the University.

Students with disabilities
The Disability Advisory Service and OUSU’s Students with Disabilities Campaign aim to enhance the student experience for those who have disabilities, and raise awareness amongst all students.

Further information

If you would like to discuss any of these matters before making your application to Oxford, you can contact the groups listed by following the links to their websites above, or contact us at study@ox.ac.uk.