Equality and diversity

At the Royal Agricultural University, we are committed to valuing and celebrating diversity and to advancing inclusive practices in all that we do.

We are striving to challenge ourselves to think and act differently in order that everyone at the RAU feels like they belong, can be their authentic selves, and are empowered to reach their full potential.

You can read the University Policy and Procedures Relating To Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity here.

We know that diversity brings benefits for our students, our staff and our work. The greater variety of perspectives and experiences we have, the better we can create innovative ways of learning and teaching, while developing ideas and solutions to create and foster equity.  We are seeking to promote an environment where opportunities are open to all and diversity is valued without fear of harassment, prejudice or discrimination.

Our work to embed equality, diversity and inclusion is anchored in the duties applied to the protected characteristics and set out in the Equality Act 2010, namely: age, disability, gender - including gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, ethnicity - including race, colour or nationality, religion or belief - including non-belief or sexual orientation. The Equality Act requires us to have due regard to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

It is expected that all members of the Royal Agricultural University’s community will conduct themselves in a manner which reflects the University’s values, demonstrating that we are collaborative, open-minded, resourceful, responsible and inclusive.  Unacceptable behaviour including bullying, harassment and victimisation or discrimination – including but not limited to the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 – will not be tolerated and any allegations will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately under the relevant procedures.

The University’s Governing Council has ultimate accountability for compliance with the Equality Act and for ensuring that we are able to demonstrate compliance by:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

Removing any existing and potential barriers to inclusion is critical to creating an inclusive work and study environment where people feel welcomed, valued, and supported. Our vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will take us on the next steps in this journey and guide our development. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2021- 2025) and Action Plan will ensure we not only achieve compliance with the legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 and our institutional goals, but also support a positive inclusive culture and national best practice.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism

The Royal Agricultural University has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism to support our commitment to becoming a fully inclusive learning community.  Anti-Semitism must be understood for what it is – an attack on the identity of people who live in, contribute to, and are valued in, our society. There can be no excuses for anti-Semitism or any other form of racism or prejudice, and the University believes that adoption of the definition can be a useful tool to enable staff and students to challenge anti-Semitic behaviours, and ensure that any issues are addressed promptly, and not avoided because the term was ill-defined.

A case study outlining the Royal Agricultural University’s approach to the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism has been published on the Office for Students (OfS) website and can be accessed here.