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Supporting Equality Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Development designed to champion progression and build strong and supportive networks that encourage and recognise the commitment to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education.

The Advance HE annual staff and student statistical report highlights that there are increasing numbers of staff and students disclosing as disabled, the Black, Asian and minority ethnic student awarding gap is persisting, and females remain underrepresented in academic roles and professorships.

Our portfolio supports the addressing of barriers to career development and progression experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and encourages and recognises commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education.

Our services are built on a legacy of expertise in equality, drawing from our leadership of the Athena Swan Charter and Race Equality Charter, championing diverse leadership development through programmes such as Aurora and Diversifying Leadership, equal pay and supporting the extension of women and under-represented groups on university boards – all to encourage and support change across the sector.

We bring a wealth of expertise to our portfolio of services in EDI, identifying the drivers for change in the Equality in HE Statistical Report, and our work across the sector, such as the support of the Disabled Students Commission, and providing the forum for the sharing good practice in our conferences and symposia such as the EDI Conference. 

Request the NEW brochure

Request your copy of the Supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education 2023-24 brochure.

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Diversifying Leadership

Tackling the under-representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders in HE institutions

The Diversifying Leadership programme is designed to support early-career

academics and professional services staff from racially minoritised groups in taking their first steps into a leadership role.

It explores themes of power and influence, demystifying leadership, cultural identity and cultural capital, increasing your visibility and authentic leadership and features leadership stories from high-profile HE leaders.

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Diversifying Leadership roundel female
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Plan your professional development for 2023-24 using our NEW Development Planner

Whether you are looking to enhance your practice, share insights or identify the next step in your professional development, by answering only a few short questions our new Development Planner will guide you to a range of development opportunities that meet your requirements. Try it today.

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Advance HE Development Planner
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Aurora is Advance HE`s leadership development initiative for women

Aurora is higher education’s most renowned leadership development initiative for women. Run as a collaboration between Advance HE in conjunction with higher education institutions and advocates – known as Aurora Champions - to address under-representation of women in leadership positions.

Aurora consists of an introductory webinar, four virtual development days and two action learning sets delivered virtually along with an in-person development

day at the end of the programme called ‘Your Future in HE’, supplemented by optional informal networking sessions and a community of practice on Advance HE Connect.

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Aurora logo
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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workshops

Advance HE’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshops are designed to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence to adopt an intersectional approach to understanding and dealing effectively with a range of equality and diversity issues in the workplace.

The first workshop is Inclusive Leadership running 5 October 2023 and 10

January 2024 (three half-day modules with participants needing to attend all three modules), with more to be added to this series soon.

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Leading virtual teams
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Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme

The under-representation of women in senior posts within institutions remains a significant concern, despite the improving outlook at executive and board levels in recent years. The Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme is a unique programme which combines technical knowledge of finance, structures and governance that senior leaders require with crucial leadership skills linked to navigating organisational politics and creating a powerful narrative for influence and strategic impact.

The programme is delivered virtually, consisting of six days over the course of three months. It is designed specifically for women in senior positions in HE to help them take the next step or to extend their role, profile and impact. It aims to create more gender parity in senior leadership throughout higher education.

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Senior woman roundel
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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2024

(6-7 March 2024, face-to-face, location TBC)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2024 will focus on best practice in addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in HE. The conference will include keynotes from senior leaders and EDI experts.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2024 offers:

  • An opportunity to think deeply and creatively about how we can build our learning on equity, diversity and inclusion to draw on the widest range of thinking and practice, including marginalised voices, new ways of learning, and learning from outside of higher education.
  • A chance to share what we are doing to disrupt traditional understanding of scholarship and scholars/expertise and experts, and to challenge structures and processes that limit career opportunities.
  • A platform to share new ideas that will stimulate our thinking about equity, diversity and inclusion – inviting people to share our insights, as well as learning from those who do likewise.
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EDI Conf 5x3
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Inclusive Learning and Teaching Workshop Series

Our popular Inclusive Learning and Teaching Workshop Series is a suite of five modules that can be taken individually or booked as a bundle to form a programme of development. The series includes:

  • Introduction to EDI in Teaching and Learning
  • Inclusive and Equitable Assessment and Feedback
  • Inclusive Curriculum
  • Inclusive Student Engagement and Partnership
  • Leading on Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Institutions and delegates booking all 5 workshops as a bundle will benefit from a 5% multi-booking discount.

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Student Engagement Conference

(18 April 2024 – Face-to-face, Location TBC)

Now in its fourth year, this conference will build on lessons learned and the latest thinking to delve further into what we learn from the data, from students, from staff, from other countries, and other types of institution to improve the student experience.

This in-person conference will allow valuable networking and informal sharing alongside the formal conference elements to build together our understanding of student engagement.

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Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference

(15 May 2024, face-to-face, location TBC)

It is increasingly recognised how important mental health and wellbeing is for staff and student success. Universities and colleges are fast-developing new approaches to mental health and wellbeing, not only to improve academic outcomes and retention, but to provide a holistic and positive experience, even in the most challenging times. At this one-day conference, organised in association with the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Expert Group, we will hear from expert keynotes and panel speakers, discuss new ideas, learn from successful sector-wide initiatives and aim to provide a boost in motivation and a fresh vision for all delegates.

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Equality Diversity and Inclusion Colloquia

Our colloquia offer staff a useful forum to encourage the exchange and dissemination of diverse ways of thinking about key EDI challenges and novel approaches.

Each colloquium is facilitated by a Senior Advisor from Advance HE with specific expertise in the area being discussed. The day will feature a keynote presentation from a leading practitioner in each area, followed by themed sessions highlighting case studies from across the sector. Delegates will have the opportunity to learn from leading practitioners in the sector, debate priority issues and learn from innovative initiatives.

The colloquia provide practitioners with access to an open and supportive environment and valuable peer network to share and discuss contemporary practice and initiatives. They enable participants to develop a principled, evidence-informed approach to devising subsequent support and guidance for change in enhancing student success in HE.

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