The University of Worcester has won the inaugural Times Higher Education Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
The judges were impressed with “the university’s sustained, whole institutional approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which places students at the centre”. They also noted Worcester’s recognition of its own part in changing the narrative about the value society places on certain roles.
The University has pioneered and developed a ‘whole university approach’ to equality, diversity and inclusion, which examines every activity of the University and the way in which each activity and facility promotes inclusion and participation, whilst simultaneously contributing to educational excellence, student and graduate success.
Professor David Green CBE, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “This is a wonderful accolade, which owes everything to the inspiring work of our students, staff and partners. We are deeply committed to helping people from all backgrounds and ages to fulfil their own rich potential. As well as reaching out with first class educational opportunities, we systematically invest in accessible, genuinely inclusive facilities, symbolised by The Hive, the Country’s only university and public library, whilst doing all we can to promote inclusion, community cohesion and environmental sustainability.”
John Bateman OBE, Chair of Governors, added: “This incredible success is testament to the outstanding work and achievements of so many people who strive to provide a first-class university experience and to make a real difference to society. The University of Worcester has become one of the most forward-thinking institutions in this Country and this award is wonderful recognition of that.”
The THE Awards celebrate the very best in UK Higher Education and its contribution to the wider society. The University was shortlisted for University of the Year in the awards for the third time, as well as being shortlisted for Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year and the THE Datapoints Merit Award, which this year was for the University making the best community contribution to tackling the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, using the data submitted for the THE University Impact assessment.
Worcester gained full university status in 2005 and since then has gone on to become arguably the most inclusive higher education institution in the UK, through the development of imaginative, outstanding facilities, such as The Hive and the University of Worcester Arena, but also in its practices, courses and all-round ethos.
In the inaugural Times Higher Education global University Impact Rankings 2019, Worcester was the number one university in the UK for both Quality Education and Gender Equality and was the highest ranked university worldwide of all universities founded in the 21st century. The rankings are based on the contribution made by universities around the world to achieving the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, which the United Nations adopted in 2016.
Worcester’s profound commitment to inclusion led to being ranked in the top 10 of universities which best reflects society in a HEPI report of 2017, whilst also being in the top 10 for employment 1, 3 and 5 years following graduation, in the government-published Longitudinal Educational Outcomes survey. In the first two rounds of national gender pay reporting, Worcester was the number one UK university for fair gender pay. This year’s reports were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This latest achievement comes in a line of recent successes for the University, which include being named Sustainability Institution of the Year in the 2019 Green Gown Awards, being shortlisted for University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards for the last two consecutive years and being shortlisted for Widening Access and Outreach in the Guardian University Awards.