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Freedom to be who you want to be

At Solent University we are proud of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), however, we recognise there is work to do to ensure it is embedded into all aspects of University life.

We want to create positive change that is valued by our diverse communities including those that work, study or visit Solent, and have developed a clear statement of commitment on EDI, alongside a plan to create a more inclusive environment.

Download the EDI plan

Solent University has partnered with John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, the Southampton UK City of Culture 2025 Trust and organisations from across Southampton to make an Inclusion Pledge. By committing to our pledges together we are unified in our aim to make Southampton an actively Inclusive City.

Across Southampton, organisations have come together to create meaningful and change-making Inclusion Pledges. The pledges have been created from a series of Inclusion Workshops launched early in 2021, by Southampton 2025 Trust with John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton as a response to the wider consultation for the UK City of Culture 2025 bid process.

For our inclusion pledge, Solent has developed an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which was created collaboratively with our staff and students, and which outlines the University’s commitment to EDI and brings together key enabling activities to create a coherent direction for the University and commits us to SMART actions.

All participating organisations took away from the process the skills and learnings to begin the development of meaningful pledges to actively promote inclusivity throughout their organisations. Visit www.southampton2025.co.uk for more information about Inclusion Pledges.

The SO25 logo in black

SOLENT'S STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT TO EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

We take active steps to provide an inclusive environment for all students, staff and visitors, irrespective of identity characteristics including those protected characteristics listed within the Equality Act 2010. We take a holistic approach that recognises that an understanding of the importance of intersectionality is key to ensuring equality, diversity, and inclusion.

We value diversity; and recognise the importance of embracing a range of different ideas, histories, knowledge and culture and the strength these bring to the quality of our work and the performance of our institution.

We challenge inequality. We recognise that patterns of inequality in society and higher education may be reflected within our University. However, we address differential outcomes for our students and staff through a range of strategies and lawful positive action.

Three female students sat on the grass in the park laughing

We respect the rights of both individuals and groups to hold their own views and values and encourage discussion and debate. However, we do not tolerate these being presented in a way that intimidates, degrades or is hostile to others.

Sonia Sood, Achievement Analyst

"I am proud to be part of a diverse community of staff and students at Solent. This Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan demonstrates Solent’s commitment to working towards fair and equitable outcomes for all. By recognising things the institution is doing well, and things that need to be improved, the University is showing it is accountable for delivering positive change for all staff and students. I look forward to seeing how this plan is developed and implemented, and hope to see good practice shared and celebrated and progress made."

I think it is important that the perspectives of everybody that is part of the Solent community be taken into account and I hope that, with all of us working together, we are able to achieve positive and meaningful change for everyone.

Our staff, our students, our community

A group of school children holding playing cards as part of an activity

At Solent we value diversity, challenge inequality, respect the right
of both individuals and groups to hold their own views, and take active steps
to provide an inclusive environment for all our students, staff, visitors and community.

Download the staff fact sheet

Download the student fact sheet

Kayleigh Quinn, Student Advice Team Leader

"During my five years at Solent and one year as LGBTQ+ Staff Network Chair, I have always felt comfortable to be myself – openly and authentically.

Solent does take real pride in this, and so they should. I hope when people come to Solent, staff or student, they know they can be out and proud but with no expectation that they should be anything but who they are and what they’re comfortable with. I am excited to see how the Network can continue to grow and how Solent’s EDI strategy develops to ensure Solent remains the championing workplace it already is.”

I believe Solent to be committed to being an inclusive, safe and diverse workplace; acknowledging that we are all valuable individuals.

Jim Irving, University Secretary and Registrar

"I love working in higher education. I feel incredibly lucky to support the transformative difference that education makes for our students, our society, and our world.

As a gay man and a senior leader, it is important to lead by example. I was delighted to join Solent University in January 2022 as University Secretary and Registrar and a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Group. Our values and commitment to being a university open to all are to be celebrated, and our EDI strategy reaffirms our commitment."

Being able to be our authentic selves at work means that we’re at our best in supporting our students.

Vaios Koukouletsos, President, Solent Students' Union

“As a European student myself it felt like home when I came to Solent. The multi-cultural mentality and environment that exists here is proof that universities provide more than just education. Solent’s diversity allowed me to thrive and become the best version of myself. Seeing people from different socio-economic backgrounds taught me that money is not the ultimate goal in life. You have to pursue your dream no matter what. That’s why Solent is one of the greatest universities out there!”

teoTeodor Mitsev, Head of Student Wellbeing, Solent Students' Union

“Solent offers a very welcoming and diverse community. When I became a student here, I felt right at home even though I was so far away from it. Staff and students from different backgrounds really helped to broaden my horizons, which also helped improve my academic outcomes.”

Useful links and documents

Links

Student Hub
The first port of call for Solent students for academic or personal support.

Equality and diversity
Information for students about equality and diversity at Solent

Students' Union
The Solent SU has information for students about welfare and other support.

Sexual violence and harassment
Information and advice for students who have been a victim of a sexual crime or harassment.

LGBTQ+ students
Information about the support provided by Solent for LGBTQ+ students.

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