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Why does EDI matter and Equality Act 2010

St Mary’s University is fully committed to creating an inclusive culture by promoting equality of opportunity and celebrating differences amongst its students, staff, and other stakeholders. We firmly believe that people from different cultural backgrounds, genders, and other intersecting identities and lived experiences contribute an array of talents, unique experiences, and distinct insights which make St Mary’s a richly diverse community.​

The University has a long tradition of widening access to education for all while fostering respect and acceptance in society, in line with its mission and Catholic heritage. Therefore, it is also our responsibility to reduce, or eliminate, any observed gaps in either continuation or attainment between groups of students from different backgrounds. It is our job to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, culture, or previous experience can thrive​ within our university.

We are proud that our University is a richly diverse community. We embrace and share new perspectives as we believe in the power of education to transform lives. At St Mary’s we understand that our continued success is dependent on the contributions of every member of our community and it is this collective spirit that makes us unique.

The Equality Act 2010 consolidated and updated existing anti-discriminatory legislations in the UK. The Act provides protection from discrimination or unfair treatment against the nine protected characteristics, which are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.

The Act subjects public authorities such as St Mary's University to the public sector equality duty. We must have ‘due regard’ to the need to: 

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who do and do not share a relevant protected characteristic  
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not (In fostering good relations, institutions should look, in particular, to the need to tackle prejudice, and promote understanding.)
  • this applies to all protected characteristics, except that in the case of marriage and civil partnership, a body subject to the duty only needs to comply with the first aim of the duty.

Protected Characteristics