Universities act to fight discrimination

11 May 00
The Higher Education Funding Councils are joining forces with universities' representatives to set up an equal opportunities action group to combat racial and sexual discrimination.

12 May 2000

A consultation document, to be published at the end of this month, sets out the plans for the new committee, which will tackle inequalities in pay and recruitment within university departments.

The proposal has been thrashed out by the four university funding bodies for the UK, the Committee of Vice Chancellors & Principals and the Standing Conference of Principals. These bodies have agreed to pour £2.5m into the equal opportunities group over the next five years.

Steve Egan, director of finance and corporate resources for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, is drafting the consultation paper. He says the plan demonstrates universities' commitment to addressing the problems highlighted by surveys, such as last year's Bett report, which have shown that women lecturers are paid less than their male counterparts and that ethnic minority candidates are less likely to win promotion.

'This initiative aims to improve equal opportunities by putting resources into the action group, which will provide benchmarks and improve on the research already done into best practice,' he explained.


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