Statement on equality and diversity

The OU was founded to open up higher education to all, regardless of background or circumstances. Our mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas—and as such, equality and diversity are at the heart of everything we do. Our continued dedication to social justice ... and equality of opportunity is embodied in our vision and principles:

Our vision of a fair and just society

We are creating an inclusive university community and a society where:

  • People are treated with dignity and respect
  • Inequalities are challenged
  • We anticipate, and respond positively to, different needs and circumstances so that everyone can achieve their potential

Our equality and diversity principles

  • We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.
  • We believe that discrimination or exclusion based on individual characteristics and circumstances, such as age; disability; caring or dependency responsibilities; gender or gender identity; marriage and civil partnership status; political opinion; pregnancy and maternity; race, colour, caste, nationality, ethnic or national origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; socio-economic background; trade union membership status or other distinctions, represents a waste of talent and a denial of opportunity for self-fulfilment.
  • We recognise that patterns of under-representation and differences in outcomes at The Open University can be challenged through positive action programmes.
  • We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs. We will not allow these differences to be manifested in a way that is hostile or degrading to others.
  • We expect commitment and involvement from all our staff, students, partners and providers of goods and services in working towards the achievement of our vision.

To read our equality scheme in the full or abbreviated version, or to find out more about equality and diversity at The Open University, visit the Equality and Diversity Website.

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