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October Minister Mitchell O’Connor Launches NUI Galway Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives
University Publishes Annual Report, New Gender Identity Policy and LGBT+ Ally Programme
Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD has launched NUI Galway’s annual report on equality, diversity and inclusivity for the academic year 2017/2018 as well as its new Gender Identity Policy and a new LGBT+ Ally Programme at an event on campus.
The annual report outlines key achievements during the year, including:
- The achievement of Athena Swan Bronze in May 2018 by both the University and its School of Medicine.
- The establishment and launch of the NUI Galway LGBT+ staff network.
- The launch of a University of Sanctuary campaign, with a view to being recognised among international universities for making education more accessible and welcoming to asylum seekers and refugees.
- Reform of University governance structures, with the reconstitution of Academic Council, which plays a critical role in setting the academic direction of the University and now has a minimum requirement of 40% male and 40% female membership.
Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Connor said: “I’m delighted to launch this report which pulls together many strands of work to highlight that NUI Galway is embracing difference and has a solid foundation in place as it strives to be a bastion of equality and diversity. NUI Galway has broken new ground in areas such as consent education and the work of its LGBT+ network, and it’s important that the education sector learns from such developments as we collectively work towards greater inclusivity.”
NUI Galway’s Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, Professor Anne Scott added:
“I am delighted to see this report of our programme of equality, diversity and inclusivity initiatives launched today by Minister Mitchel O’Connor. This annual report provides clear evidence that we in NUI Galway have made significant progress in building a sustainable equality, diversity and inclusivity culture in our university. We all appreciate that we are on a stimulating journey with significant challenges ahead. However our commitment to this broad-based agenda is clear and the publication of our Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy and the launch of our new LGBT+ Ally programme is testament to that. We look forward with confidence to building on these achievements and continuing this important work in Academic Year 2018 - 2019.”
The University also launched a new Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy following extensive staff and student consultation. The policy outlines NUI Galway’s commitment to recognise and support individuals’ gender identity and gender expression so that all members of the university community experience a positive and accepting environment where every member is treated with dignity and respect. The policy outlines the processes, facilities and structures introduced in order to help all members of our community improve their understanding of gender identity issues.
A new LGBT+ Ally Programme was also announced on campus. The Ally Programme is a staff-based initiative working towards increasing the knowledge, awareness, and support of LGBT+ colleagues and students. In partnership with the Students’ Union and Schools/Units within NUI Galway, the LGBT+ Ally Programme aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for staff and students of all sexual identities and genders at NUI Galway and to advocate for a culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
To access the annual report, gender identity and expression policy and information on the LGBT+ ally programme, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/equalityanddiversity/