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The School of Politics, Economics and International Relations (SPEIR) aims to create an inclusive and supportive working environment for all staff and students.

We believe that diverse institutions are more successful, innovative, and fulfilling. Therefore we are committed to making SPEIR a place where everyone can reach their potential in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. We conceive of diversity broadly, to encompass gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and disability.

Like most institutions of higher education, we have a lot of work to do. We are immensely proud to have been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in May 2021, in recognition of extensive reflection on our current performance and future goals with regards to gender equality. But we consider this just the start of a long-term journey towards mainstreaming diversity and inclusion in a fuller sense across all of our activities. Please see below for more details on our current efforts and plans, including the implementation of our five-year Athena SWAN Action Plan and a School Race Equality Review to complement the University‚Äôs Race Equality Review.

For any questions or information about equality and diversity in the School, please contact Professor Sarah von Billerbeck, School Diversity and Inclusion Lead.

News

May 2021

At the School of Politics, Economics and International Relations, we're delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. This is the result of extensive internal self-reflection, data gathering, and analysis completed in consultation with staff and students over more than a year.

Read the article on the University Staff Portal 

Athena SWAN Awards recognize work to advance gender equality in institutions of higher education and commit us to continuing our efforts on an ongoing basis through continual self-reflection and targeted actions. As part of our application, we have created an ambitious five-year action plan that will run from 2021-26.

More about Diversity and Inclusion activities and initiatives around the University 

COVID-19 Response

It has been well-documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected various groups differently and has exacerbated various forms of inequality. The School of Politics, Economics and International Relations has therefore put in place measures to mitigate some of these effects.

For students, all staff have reached out to their Academic Tutees and students in their modules more proactively. Heads of Department have provided weekly updates containing:

  • key information
  • resources and support
  • offering an open-door policy for raising concerns and checking in
  • encouraging all members of our community to check on one another regularly to ensure that no one is left to struggle alone.

In line with University policy, we've also temporarily changed the rules for seeking extensions to coursework due to extenuating circumstances and relaxed the evidence requirements.

For staff, also in line with University policy, we've allocated upcoming light terms for research with Diversity and Inclusion criteria in mind, giving priority to staff with caring responsibilities who were unable to dedicate time to research during the pandemic. Five staff members have been granted light terms in academic year 2021/22 in line with this policy.

Stonewall Diversity Champion logo
Athena SWAN Bronze Award logo