Equality and diversity

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we do at Cardiff. Our organisational vision is clear: to work with every Cardiff student to enhance their University experience. This is underpinned by our values that recognise that we want to be excellent at what we do by being totally inclusive. We believe that to be truly representative we need all our students to have a stake in the Union’s success.

The Students' Union and the University are committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all our practices and activities.

Both institutions aim to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based upon the values of dignity, courtesy and respect. We recognise the right of every person to be treated in accordance with these values.

We are committed to advancing equality on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation and to fostering good relations between different groups.

Available Support

The University recognises that personal circumstances can have an impact on your decision to apply to university and also circumstances can change during your course. There are packages of support available for specific groups of students through Student Support:

Asylum seekers

We have developed a support package for students who have applied for asylum but have not yet received a decision from the Home Office.

More about support for asylum seekers.

Care leavers

We have a generous support package for students who are either in care, or who have left care. This package has been designed for care leavers whose permanent residence is in the United Kingdom.

More about support for care leavers.

Disability and dyslexia

We work with students with a range of disabilities, including physical or sensory impairments, specific learning difficulties, long-term medical conditions and mental health conditions.

More about support for students with disabilities and dyslexia.

Estranged students

The term 'estranged student' is used to refer to young students who are studying without the support of a family network. We have designed a support package to assist estranged students.

More about support for estranged students.

Forces veterans

We are an armed forces-friendly organisation and are committed to supporting ex-forces servicemen/women and their dependents, through our Student Support Services, to ensure that no member of the Armed Forces Community faces disadvantage in Higher Education.

More about support for forces veterans.

Gender reassignment

We want to support all staff and students in their choice of gender identity and have guidelines to help.

More about support for students who are considering gender reassignment.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans(gender)+

LGBT+ students may face different challenges at university and we have services to support you. We want to ensure that we provide the best support for all our students.

More about support for LGBT+ students.

Religion and belief

Cardiff is a multicultural city in which many religious faiths are practised. Individuals and groups should be treated with dignity and fairness whatever their religious and/or philosophical beliefs may be.

More about the University Chaplaincy.

Student carers

We recognise carers as those who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction. We are developing a support package on supporting student carers.

More about support for student carers.

Student parents

Whether you already have a child or are about to become a parent, a wealth of services are available to support your study with us.

More about support for student parents.

More information in respect of the University's equality, diversity and inclusion support arrangements can be found on the University website and student intranet.

Equality and Diversity in your Students' Union

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we do at Cardiff. Our organisational vision is clear: to work with every Cardiff student to enhance their University experience. This is underpinned by our values that recognise that we want to be excellent at what we do by being totally inclusive. We believe that to be truly representative we need all our students to have a stake in the Union’s success.

Read our strategic plan.

For example, we saw that we needed to work with more post graduate students, create more engagement and inclusion opportunities for international students, get more women in leadership and representative positions and offer new activities with different ways of engaging to attract students who haven’t previously engaged with us.

We also recognised the need to better engage our staff in our diversity objectives and seek out future staff members that are passionate about diversity and inclusion. Our aim was to make sure that our staff knew where the Union stood on diversity issues and for Cardiff to be the first students’ union in Wales to be an accredited Investor in Diversity. More than 90% of staff say they know and support the Union’s vision and values and more than three quarters agree that the Union champions diversity and challenges discrimination. We now include valuing diversity as an essential requirement for job applicants and we are on track to achieve our Investors in Diversity aim before the end of the year.

We also chose to embed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion targets into our governance to ensure that all levels of the organisation have a role to play; we annually review our equality, diversity and inclusion policy, have a working group of staff to review our progress and produce an annual report against it.

Following a tense referendum on Welsh language representation in 2015 the Union has positively engaged Welsh speaking students to make the Union a genuinely bilingual organisation. We adopted a comprehensive Welsh Language Policy in 2016 and are supporting our students to establish an autonomous Welsh speakers representative body.

Read our Welsh Language Policy

 Some of the actions we have taken were planned in advance, some have come from our improved understanding of diversity and some have come from our students and staff responding to the cultural shift we’ve sort to create.

Our stand-out achievement has been in developing a major scheme of alcohol-free activities, specifically aimed at engaging more international students and students who prefer non-alcohol related activities. Although launched in 2015, we have seen an explosion of engagement in the past year with nearly 5,500 students taking part, more than a third or which come from outside the UK. We are proud to say that we now organise more alcohol-free events than licensed events and we expect this to become normal practice in future years.

Find out more about the Give it a Go Initiative

We have also sought to make diversity a part of all of our major existing events and activities. For example, with Welsh Varsity (in partnership with Swansea Students’ Union) we continue to work with Stonewall to get our students to wear Rainbow Laces when competing in their sports.

Find out more about Welsh Varsity

To increase representation, we have made changes to make our leadership roles more inclusive and diverse. In the past year we created a Mental Health Officer post and after a successful trial have made 50% of our Student Senate positions available to woman only. This has led to more women candidates in our elections and at present 7 of our 15 trustees are women.

In the past year we’ve also launched a series of student parent days to help build a student parent community. This came from seeing that student parents from our Healthcare School were less engaged and were unlikely to attend the other activities we support. We also launched monthly post graduate research events and will be hosting our first ever ‘Recognising Research’ event to celebrate the achievements of our PGR students and build a peer network – a group of students who historically had seen the Students’ Union as ‘not for them’.

Find out more about our next Student Family Day

As a result of our changes we’ve seen big improvements in engaging minorities. Over the past two years, satisfaction has improved by 15% with BME students, 12% with EU students, 7% with international students, 7% with mature students and 7% with disabled students. We believe that this satisfaction reflects not only the diversified services we provide, but the values we embody and demonstrate to our members.

We’ve also harnessed the power of our student leaders and empowered them to become diversity champions. All ‘gold’ level student societies must adopt and promote a widening access policy to remove barriers to participation.

We’ve taken action on issues that we hadn’t considered before. We noticed that many international students were using our building for relaxation, socialising and study space at the end of term, so we extended our opening times over Christmas, including opening on Christmas day. The popularity of this extended opening means that we will continue this practice during the Easter break.

We have also shown leadership to our parent university on the matters important to our members. For example, after our ground floor refurbishment the Students’ Union building has gender neutral toilets and baby change facilities on all floors of our building. This, along with our lobbying led to gender neutral toilets being added to the University’s new student services building, despite reservations about its cost.

Over the last few years we have invested significant resources into our student engagement monitoring for the purpose of demonstrating impact. We realised that the engagement data could also be used to see how engagement is spread across demographic groups. For the first time this year, we have undertaken an equality impact assessment of each of our major activities and student service departments so they each have a diversity and widening participation plan in the future.

It's No Joke

We want Cardiff University to be a positive and inclusive place.

As a result the Students' Union launched the It's No Joke campaign with the aim of promoting inclusivity on a safe university campus. It's No Joke is designed to ensure a culture of acceptance and behaviour for the benefit of everyone. We want to make Cardiff an even better place to live and study, where anybody can flourish.

Find out more about It's No Joke.

It's Not On

We've asked all students to sign our #NotOn pledge to agree to help us create a safe and inclusive campus culture at Cardiff University and step in as an empowered bystander whenever a student might need help.

Find out more about It's Not On.

Reporting an Incident

If you feel you have been a victim of inappropriate behaviour, abuse or violence and would like support then please get in touch with the Disclosure Response Team at DisclosureResponseteam@Cardiff.ac.uk or contact Student Advice.

Disclose sexual abuse or domestic abuse.

If you would like to report an incident in relation to a student group associated with the Students’ Union which you feel contradicts the above messages then please complete our online form. You are welcome to provide this information anonymously if you would prefer.

Report problematic behaviour.

More Information

Information on the University's Equality and diversity statement is available here.

The University's Equality and Diversity policy available to download here.

Sources of Further Guidance:

Equality Act 2010

Human Rights Act 1998

Equality & Human Rights Commission: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service):

Equality Challenge Unit:

If you would like a copy of the Students' Union's Equality and Diversity policy please contact Sarah Thomas, Head of HR, Learning & Development on ThomasS102@cardiff.ac.uk, 02920 781431.

If you would like a copy of the University policy in large print or another format please contact Catrin Morgan, Equality & Diversity Manager (DOSPG) MorganCA5@cardiff.ac.uk, 029 20870230.