Our member universities are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion for all staff and students in every area of their work. This commitment requires continued evaluation of our organisational policies, procedures and culture and also how these relate to the student experience, and professional fulfilment of our university staff. We believe that a diverse and inclusive organisational environment – one in which everyone feels valued, and can learn or work to their full potential – creates a more innovative, rewarding, and productive higher education environment.
As Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has grown as an important agenda item across the university system, so too IUA structures have evolved to support this critical activity. In 2019 the IUA set up a high-level group for Vice Presidents for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion which will coordinate the work of universities in this priority area.
- To share best practice on EDI in respect of all statutory Equality grounds amongst the IUA member institutions;
- To advise the IUA Council on strategic and operational matters on equality, diversity and inclusion;
- To coordinate relevant activities in relation to the implementation of the Gender Taskforce Report or other sectoral policy initiatives;
- To compile and share data at a sectoral level in relation to EDI;
- To liaise as required with the HEA Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality or similar equality entities;
- To support members’ own implementation activities where appropriate;
- To liaise with other relevant groups such as HR Directors and Registrars within the IUA in relation to EDI.
Developments in this area show the commitment of the Irish universities to work with government on addressing issues relating to equality and diversity, and this commitment is captured formally in Ireland’s Future Talent – ‘A Charter for Irish Universities’.
Our member universities are also Universities of Sanctuary which is an initiative of the City of Sanctuary movement. This initiative celebrates the good practice of universities welcoming sanctuary seekers into their communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all. Visit our Universities of Sanctuary page for more.
Age Friendly Universities
Pioneered by DCU, Age Friendly Universities (AFU) is an approach to developing an age-friendly initiative within higher education institutions which has grown to over 50 members globally. AFU is centred around The Ten Principles of an Age-Friendly University which provides for a dialogue on ageing which is shared by a growing AFU global Network.
In parallel with the EDI initiatives highlighted above, IUA and our member universities also ensure inclusivity through dedicated Access schemes, services and operational supports for people who are under-represented at university (i.e. students with disabilities, mature students, and those from economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority backgrounds).
IUA Member Universities are also committed to further increasing the participation of Irish Travellers in Higher Education in partnership with key stakeholders such as students, representative community groups, the State and other HEIs.
Contact the EDI team:
Each of our universities have a team of staff dedicated to leading and promoting all aspects of equality and diversity throughout the University:
IUA’s Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion is Tony McMahon