- Eliminate discrimination, victimisation and harassment and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people from different protected groups, including:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
- Meeting the needs of people with protected characteristics;
- Encouraging people with protected characteristics to participate in areas where their representation is low.
- Foster good relations between people from different protected groups, including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.
The Equality Act 2010 covers eight protected characteristics to which all three arms of the general equality duty set out above (eliminating discrimination, advancing equality, and fostering good relations) apply:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief (including lack of belief)
- Sexual orientation
Public authorities also need to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination in employment against someone because of their:
- Marriage or civil partnership status.
This means that the first arm of the duty applies to this characteristic but that the other arms (advancing equality and fostering good relations) do not apply.
Magdalen College welcomes diversity among its staff, students, alumni, and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of the College’s mission which can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
Magdalen aims to provide an inclusive environment which promotes equality, values diversity, and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected, to assist them in reaching their full potential. The College will work to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest potential and ability from applying to the College, either as staff or students.
The College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity. As far as is practicable, no prospective or actual student or member of staff will unjustifiably be treated less favourably than any other, whether before, during, or after their study or employment at Magdalen College on one or more of the following grounds (subject to any legal constraints and in relation to the protected characteristics laid out in the Equality Act 2010): age; disability; gender (including gender reassignment); marital or civil partnership status; parental status; pregnancy or childbirth; race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin); religion or belief (including lack of belief); sex; sexual orientation; or length or type of contract (e.g. part-time or fixed term).
This policy applies to all members of the College community, both students and staff, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts, to job applicants, to student applicants, current and former students, to honorary and associate members, and to visitors to the College.
With regard to students, this policy applies, but is not limited to, admissions, to teaching, learning and research provision, to scholarships, grants and other awards and benefits under the College’s control, to student support and welfare, to access to College accommodation and to other buildings, facilities and services, to health and safety, to personal conduct, and to student complaints and disciplinary procedures.
The College expects all its staff, students and visitors to take personal responsibility for familiarising themselves with this policy and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner towards other staff, students (prospective, current, and former) and visitors. Members of the College community have a duty to treat colleagues with respect at all times, and not to discriminate against, victimise or harass other students, members of staff or visitors, whether junior or senior to them. The College regards any breach of this policy by any employee(s) or student(s) as a serious matter to be dealt with through its agreed procedures and which may result in disciplinary action.
The College through this Equality Policy, its Codes of Practice on Harassment and Freedom of Speech, and its other policies and frameworks seeks to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for all men and women working and studying at the College or applying to do so, and to ensure equality of access to all services provided by the College. Magdalen College is a College in the University of Oxford, and works closely with the University’s Equality and Diversity Unit (https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/home/).
In accordance with its specific duties under the Equality Act 2010, the College has adopted the following two Equality objectives for the years 2012-13 to 2015-16, and reports below on progress in achieving them:
1. To develop further Magdalen’s outreach and access work.
2. To improve the College’s processes for the collection and analysis of Equal Opportunities data on students and staff.
The College’s Equality work covers a much wider range than that referred to in these objectives, and further information about the extent of this follows.
In respect of the College’s first objective, there has been a transformation in the range and scale of outreach and access activity by the College.
Outreach encompasses widening access, widening participation, and student recruitment. Under the University’s regionalisation scheme, Magdalen is linked with the local authorities of Barnsley, Brent, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Rotherham, Sheffield, and Westminster. For further information on the scheme, see http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/open-days-outreach/events-students-teachers/resources-teachers/link-colleges.
In 2012 the College appointed its first full-time Outreach Officer. The year 2012-13 saw a substantial increase in outreach activities, with 42 Outreach Officer-led events, involving 64 different schools and over 1,250 students. A Student Ambassador scheme was created to provide visiting school pupils with the opportunity to engage with current students, and a Student Ambassador Roadshow took place in South Yorkshire. A termly newsletter was developed to inform link schools of outreach events and opportunities at Magdalen and Oxford, and in January 2013 a Magdalen Outreach Twitter feed, @MagdOutreach, was set up to enable communication with link schools and interested students to take place in a less formal setting. Cooperation was established with Cambridge College Outreach and Schools Liaison Officers with responsibility for the same link regions as Magdalen, leading to events in Brent and Westminster. Magdalen also became an active supporter of the Pathways Programme, a cross-college initiative, with support from the Sutton Trust, which works with non-selective state school pupils in Years 10 to 13 and aims to raise aspirations for, and encourage applications to, Oxford. In 2013-14, all of the previous year’s initiatives were continued and developed. The College also contributed to the University’s Women in Science days, was represented at evening events in link regions aimed at women in STEM and Oxbridge, and began to build a strong relationship with education charity IntoUniversity, which works with schools in many areas of low progression that have a high concentration of BME students. In 2014-15, besides building on the work of the previous two years, the College saw its first Outreach Fellow take up office, with responsibility for oversight of the College’s outreach work, and there has been greater coordination of outreach activity between the numerous members of College involved in this work, including the JCR and MCR committee members with responsibility for access. Further development of Magdalen’s outreach initiatives is also a key part of the College’s Strategic Plan for 2015-20, which was agreed this year. Additional activities in 2015-16 included a ‘Target Schools Thursdays’ initiative run by Magdalen, which proved very popular in the College’s link local authorities of Brent and Westminster, and two events co-hosted on behalf of the Brilliant Club, an educational charity that works to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities.
In respect of the College’s second objective, the processes for the collection and analysis of Equal Opportunities data on students and staff have been considerably improved. The data on students are considered annually by the Academic Policy Committee, and the data on staff by the Human Resources Committee.
The bulk of the data available to the Academic Policy Committee is provided by the University’s Student Data Management and Analysis team, and some of the data are available on the University website. The Academic Policy Committee did not note any concerning trends in the data on protected characteristics for current students in the years 2012-13, 2013-14, or 2014-15 (though there was a slight fall in the percentage of female students in 2015-16), and consistently felt that the College should continue to further its efforts to attract high-quality applicants from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible. In respect of Final Examination Results, in 2013 the percentages of Magdalen’s female and male students achieving Firsts were 21% and 49% respectively (for the University as a whole, 26% and 34% respectively); however, they were very close in 2014 (women 31%; men 34%; University – 27% and 35% respectively) and 2015 (women 44%; men 45%; University – 25% and 36% respectively), the latter year, which comprised 60 students from UK state schools, 33 students from UK independent schools, and 21 students from overseas schools, seeing the second-best Finals performance of any Magdalen cohort.
Information about the College’s provision of support for disabled applicants and students is given below.
In respect of Equality data on staff, the Human Resources Committee has considered both recruitment data and data on current employees. The recruitment data were gathered on 24 academic and non-academic posts in 2012, 27 in 2013, and 25 in 2014. The Committee has noted that the completeness of the information available to it is very much dependent on the proportion of applicants who submit the anonymous forms, and the proportions of those doing so in 2014 were scrutinized in 2015 with a view to establishing whether more complete and useful data might become available in 2016. Most of the posts considered are non-academic rather than academic: the majority of the College’s senior academic appointments are made jointly with the University. The University has gathered and published monitoring and statistical data and other Equality information in a series of reports.
These reports incorporate data on members of the College’s academic staff who hold a joint appointment with the University.
In 2014-15, up-to-date Equality data were gathered on the College’s workforce by means of an anonymous questionnaire, which was returned by 110 of the College’s current employees. The analysis of this (e.g. female staff 52%; BME staff 16%; staff with a disability 10%) appeared to show results broadly in line with expectations for the sector. Further data will be examined in Trinity Term 2016 with a view to considering analysis of the evolution of the workforce over time, and to seeing whether comparability can be established between recruitment data and data on current staff.
There is a variety of other Equality work within the College beyond that related to Magdalen’s specific Equality objectives. In 2014-15 the College’s Harassment policy was revised following the revision of the University’s Harassment policy, and the College’s Freedom of Speech policy will be reviewed in Trinity Term 2016. The College’s policy on parental leave is regularly updated. But perhaps the most extensive regular Equality work is in respect of disabled students and staff.
When an applicant for a place at Magdalen declares a disability, the applicant is contacted by the College, and the Admissions Officer liaises with the candidate and key College staff to ensure that appropriate adjustments can be put in place in good time for the interview process. Successful candidates are encouraged in their offer letters to disclose any disability if they have not already done so. The College’s Student Support Administrator liaises with the student and the University’s Disability Advisory Service (DAS), and the College’s designated Disability Adviser at the DAS makes arrangements with the student for a disability assessment. The assessment leads to a Student Support Plan, on the basis of which provision can be tailored to the particular needs of that student.
Adjustments in College take a variety of forms, including choice of room, furniture or equipment (such as beds, chairs, or desks), assistance in the case of visual or aural impairment (such as devices to alert students with hearing impairment to a fire alarm), transportation, the location of teaching, and examination adjustments. The examination adjustments, which involve liaison between the College’s Academic Administrator, the DAS, the College Doctors, and the University Proctors, vary widely from case to case, and can include extra writing time, rest breaks, the use of a word processor, the use of special software (e.g. for mathematical or musical notation, or for particular languages), the provision of a separate examination room, the use of one or more amanuenses (sometimes one for each sub-discipline of an Honour School) or readers, and arrangement of overnight supervision for those unable to take examinations on particular days (this can be for various reasons, including disability and the timing of religious holidays). Where practicable, examination arrangements for students who have had adjustments approved for their University examinations are used for their College examinations (‘collections’), which assists students by giving practice in sitting examinations in the appropriate conditions, as well as helping to ensure fair assessment of their progress.
In respect of improving access to College facilities for members of College and visitors to the College, much work has been done in recent years, in consultation with the relevant planning and other authorities, including the creation of accessible accommodation and teaching space, the installation of a lift in Cloisters to give access to meeting room and library space, and new accessible toilet facilities. Accessibility was made an important element in the College’s Strategic Plan for 2015-20, and the following access improvements were made in 2015-16:
• Chaplain’s Quad. In place of stepped access into the Ante Room, we installed a stone ramp with handrails and alternative stepped access to cater for the needs of both wheelchair users and people who are ambulant disabled.
• Daubeny Building. The main glass entrance door and subsequent internal doors leading to Rooms 1 and 2 have been automated. Though both rooms are already accessible, minor alterations and upgrades have been made since the 2007 refurbishment to meet the needs of wheelchair users.
• Longwall Annexe, Lower Annexe. Alterations to five existing store-rooms have been made to create four en-suite study bedrooms, including one accessible en-suite room with ramp access in the external courtyard and automation to the courtyard door and the building entrance door.
• Marston Road Grounds. An existing rutted stone track has been removed, and a new roadway has been provided, with highway-standard construction depths and appropriate drainage, surfaced with self-binding gravel. This surface provides improved accessibility for students, staff, and visitors to the College properties, the Fellows Garden, and the all-weather sports pitch operated by Magdalen College School.
The College’s JCR and MCR committees are also engaged in Equality work. The JCR has four Equalities Officers (a Women’s Officer, an LGBTQ Officer, a Disabled Students’ Officer, and a BME Students Officer, the latter two positions created in 2014-15), who are active in running and advertising events, including discussion groups, workshops, and social events. The MCR is similarly active; in 2014 it added an LGBTQ Officer to its committee structure, and in 2015 it added four new Equalities Officers (or Liberation Representatives) – a Women’s Officer, a Disabled Students’ Officer, a Racial Equality Officer, and an additional LGBTQ Officer. In 2014, the College accepted a proposal from the JCR and MCR to fly the Rainbow Flag on one day in February, to give a public expression of its commitment to provide a welcoming, safe, and supportive environment for both work and leisure for all members of the College, whatever their sexual orientation. In 2015, the College accepted a proposal from the JCR and MCR to fly the Rainbow Flag for one week of LGBTQ History month every year.
In accordance with its specific duties under the Equality Act 2010, the College has adopted the following two Equality objectives for the years 2016-17 to 2019-20, and reports below on progress in achieving them:
1 To increase the accessibility of Magdalen’s buildings and grounds for disabled members of the College and visitors.
2 To improve further the College’s provision of support for disabled students, staff, and visitors.
The College’s Equality work covers a much wider range than that referred to in these objectives, and further information about the extent of this follows.
There has been very extensive work in College in support of this objective.
Trinity Term 2016 to Hilary Term 2017:
- Grove Buildings internal refurbishment. The existing accessible rooms (D.III.1 and the Teaching Room with ancillary bathroom in A) were refurbished and upgraded to a higher specification.
- Grove Quad re-landscaping. The works involved replacement Yorkstone paving. The improvements include tight 3mm joints between paving stones; re-designed ramp layouts at the north end of Building A by the car park and from the F/E door at the Auditorium; a more manageable gradient of ramp into all accessible areas; and a seamless transition to the asphalt paths that lead into College.
- Longwall Library. All floors of the building are now accessible to a wheelchair user through the introduction of a lift; all users of the library can use the same front door which is automatic and approached by a ramp; circulatory and room doors throughout all floors of the building are automatic; circulation routes throughout the building are generous to allow for ease of movement of a wheelchair; fittings and fixtures have been designed to take account of the needs of disabled people; signage is clear throughout the building, and colours are of a suitable degree of contrast to aid those with visual impairments; provision has been made throughout in designing for those with sensory impairments; there are accessible WC facilities on the lower ground and first floors; and the Longwall late gate has also been automated, giving wheelchair access to and from the street 24/7.
Trinity Term 2017 to Hilary Term 2018:
- Replacement Buttery lift. The existing platform lift has been replaced with a Part M compliant hydraulic passenger and goods lift, which has been modified and appropriately re-modelled so that it can transport wheelchair and ambulant disabled users.
- Hall refurbishment. The existing PA system has been replaced with a new sound system, which for the first time introduces a hearing loop system to assist those with hearing impairments.
- Holywell Ford Stables. Both floors of the building are now accessible to a wheelchair user through the introduction of a Stannah stairlift; all users can use the same front door, which is automatic and approached by a ramp; all internal doors throughout are automatic; signage is clear throughout the building and colours are of a suitable degree of contrast to aid those with visual impairments; and there is an accessible WC on the ground floor.
- Senior Common Room. A new Part M compliant hydraulic lift has been installed, which provides access to the first floor where the Senior Common Room is located, and to the upper first floor where the Lower Muniment Room can be found. There is an accessible WC on the first floor, and wheelchair users can move independently between the Senior Common Room and the
- Lower Muniment Room with the aid of automatic doors. Signage is clear throughout the refurbished spaces, and colours are of a suitable degree of contrast to aid those with visual impairments.
- Old Practice Room. The passageway from the Cloister into the Old Practice Room has been made level going, and the room door is automatic, which now makes this an accessible teaching and meeting space.
Trinity Term 2018 to Hilary Term 2019:
Planning for the following improvements took place:
- Chapel. As part of an extensive refurbishment of the Chapel and Ante Chapel space, the existing PA system will be replaced with a new sound system, with a hearing loop to assist those with hearing impairments.
- Winter Common Room project. The Winter Common Room, New Room, and back of house areas are going to be refurbished starting in the summer of 2019. Our aim is to improve accessibility where and to the extent that it is practically possible, with due regard to the character and significance of the historic fabric and setting. Our proposals allow for all existing and new dining and reception rooms to become accessible.
- 1-7 Longwall St. An extensive refurbishment will include improvements to accessibility. The gate leading to 1-7 Longwall St from the highway will be automated, and the internal spaces will be reconfigured to allow for improvements in the size and quality of the offering for accessible rooms and bathrooms.
- Old Kitchen Bar terrace. This space will be made accessible by the introduction of lift access between the servery and the terrace.
- St Swithun’s and Longwall Quad. These staircases will be extensively refurbished and all opportunities for improvements to accessibility will be fully explored and implemented where it is possible to do so.
Trinity Term 2019 to Hilary Term 2020:
The following works are taking place in this period:
- Winter Common Room project. At the end of Trinity Term 2019 work began on this project (see above for details), which will greatly increase accessibility by incorporating lift access to connect ground and first floors and by providing automated doors and an accessible WC. The current programme shows a completion date of August 2020.
Further planning for the following improvements has taken place:
- Chapel (see above for details).
- 1-7 Longwall St. (see above for details).
The College has continued to work hard to improve its provision of support for disabled students, staff, and visitors. A detailed account of the various ways in which Magdalen supports disabled students is given above in our Equality Reports for 2012-13 to 2015-16. Over the years 2010 to 2019, the percentage of students with a declared disability at the College has been very close to or above that for the University as a whole, and that percentage increased from 4.7% in 2010 to 13.2% in 2019. The data on Final Examination results for the period 2015-18 at Magdalen and in the University as a whole show that over this period 34.43% of Magdalen finalists with a declared disability achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 27.92%), while 43.16% of Magdalen finalists with no declared disability achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 34.34%). The University has not yet released Final Examination data for 2019.
Other Equality work:
Much other Equality work has been done at Magdalen, with the aim of promoting and increasing diversity and inclusivity wherever possible.
Between 2016 and 2018 Magdalen significantly increased its outreach efforts, in support of the University’s aim of removing barriers to higher education and promoting equality of opportunity. In 2016-17 much work was done to complete and update the database of schools in Magdalen’s link regions, and to develop both ‘An Introduction to Oxford’ workshops at local host schools, and ‘Magdalen Revealed’ workshops at the College, aimed specifically at schools which have little or no history of making competitive applications to Oxford. Confirmed engagements were made with 82 of the schools in the link regions, and 32 Magdalen students were trained as Student Ambassadors, who assisted at both external and internal events. In the year 2017-18 the Outreach Officer arranged or attended 41 outreach events, reaching approximately 1,500 pupils from 84 schools. Over 60 current undergraduates were trained to act as Student Ambassadors during these outreach events. The Outreach Officer collaborated with other colleges and departments on outreach events aimed at widening participation more broadly, including a Women in Science event in collaboration with Jesus and Trinity Colleges, a computer science competition organised by the Department of Computer Science, and a charity fundraiser for International Women’s Day. Magdalen Outreach co-hosted the Oxford African & Caribbean Society’s annual Offer-Holders Day, during which 24 Year-13 Oxford offer-holders of black African & Caribbean heritage attended workshops and study skills sessions followed by a formal dinner at Magdalen. The Outreach Officer also attended an outreach event for BME students at IntoUniversity Lambeth, which consisted of an all-BME panel of Oxford alumni providing insights into the admissions process and Oxford life, followed by a Q&A session. From October 2017 the Outreach Officer was involved in the development of an app to highlight landmarks around Oxford that are relevant to the BME community, to help address the perceived lack of recognition of BME figures and BME history within Oxford.
The College has embarked on a major new Outreach Strategy for the period 2018-23, which aims to give opportunities for outstanding education to students regardless of background; to increase the presence of under-represented groups at Magdalen and at Oxford; to promote Magdalen and Oxford to all students with the potential for academic excellence; and to support the University as a whole in its outreach and access work. This involves increased staffing at Fellowship and Officership level, collaboration on a wide variety of access programmes, developments in communications, and the greater embedding of outreach as a fundamental part of the College’s life.
Magdalen conducted 88 outreach events between Trinity 2018 and Hilary 2019, and 134 between Trinity 2019 and Hilary 2020. Many of these events involved multiple schools and colleges and some events took place over more than one day, e.g. Higher Education exhibitions and residential visits, such as ‘Law at Magdalen’, a two-night residential for Year 12 students from under-represented backgrounds which aimed to introduce them to the study of law at university level. Most events involved schools and colleges in our link regions, but we also worked with schools and colleges across the UK. Most of these events were organised and led by Magdalen, whilst also involving collaboration with other Colleges, Departments, and external organisations. The College contributed significantly during this period towards many University-wide outreach and access programmes, including UNIQ (twice hosting 40 students for 4 or 5 nights), UNIQ+ (hosting 2 students for 6 weeks), Target Oxbridge (hosting 50 students for a 2-day residential), Oxford for Oxford (4 events), Oxford Pathways (6 events), OUSU Target Schools (1 event), Open Days (6 across the 2 years), Oxford First-Gen Society (1 event), and the Oxford African and Caribbean Society (3 events). Magdalen also worked with many external organisations specialising in outreach and access, including The Sutton Trust (hosting 20 teachers for 1 night as part of the Teacher Summer School); The Social Mobility Foundation; The Access Project (which works with disadvantaged students in London and the Midlands); The Access Platform (ongoing digital outreach platform); IntoUniversity; Your Future, Your Ambition (which focuses on diversity within STEM); Breakout Youth (a LGBTQ+ youth group in Hampshire); Making the Leap (a London-based social mobility charity); UK University Search; Oxfordshire Historical Association; Holocaust Educational Trust; Oxfordshire Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25; Pimlico Musical Foundation; and UCAS Higher Education Exhibitions. For 2020-21 we have events planned with UNIQ, UNIQ+, OUSU Target Schools, Target Oxbridge, Oxford for Oxford, Oxford Pathways, The Access Project, Westside Young Leaders Academy, Oxfordshire Virtual School, and UCAS. In 2019 Magdalen launched a ground-breaking new initiative to help equip future Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders with the tools and knowledge required to stand for political office. The Pathways to Success residential and mentoring programme was set up by the House of Commons and Operation Black Vote, and run in partnership with Madgalen College, the Blavatnik School of Government, and Lloyds Bank. More information is available here: https://www.magd.ox.ac.uk/news/creating-bame-leaders-of-tomorrow/. Magdalen also organised a trip to 10 Downing Street to give a group of BAME Oxford students an opportunity to meet Nero Ughwujabo, the Special Adviser on Social Justice, Young People, and Opportunities in the Office of the Prime Minister (for details, see https://www.magd.ox.ac.uk/news/students-visit-10-downing-street/).
The Final Examination results supplied by the University for the period 2015-18, which were scrutinized by the College’s Academic Policy Committee, show that 41.97% of Magdalen women who were finalists achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 29.24%), while 41.91% of Magdalen men achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 37.19%), with the Finals performance of women at Magdalen over this period being better than that of men, a sharp contrast with the picture in the University as a whole. In respect of BME students, the University’s statistics for the period 2015-18 show that 38.75% of Magdalen finalists classified as BME/unknown achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 28.60%), while 42.66% of Magdalen finalists classified as White achieved Firsts (compared to a University average of 34.82%). However, the overall numbers of women and BME students studying at Magdalen have been lower than the College would wish, and further work under the College’s Outreach strategy for 2018-23 is being undertaken to address these and other diversity and equality issues. Following the first undergraduate admissions exercise conducted under the College’s new strategy in December 2018, the figures for the UK students who comprise Magdalen’s 1st year in 2019-20 show a marked increase in numbers from under-represented groups compared to data for the period 2016-18 published in May 2019 in the University’s second Annual Admissions Statistical Report. 108 new undergraduates arrived at Magdalen to begin their degrees in October 2019, of whom 76 are UK-domiciled. Of these 76, 31.5% are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, an increase of 20.7 percentage points from the average for the previous three years (data available on 73 out of 76); 59.2% attended a state secondary school, an increase of 8.8 percentage points; 60.5% are female, an increase of 16.1 percentage points; 13.3% are from socio-economically disadvantaged areas, an increase of 4.2 percentage points (data available on 75 out of 76); 17.6% are from areas with low progression to higher education, an increase of 8.9 percentage points (data available on 74 out of 76). In the second undergraduate admissions exercise of this period (December 2019), the College has again offered the majority of its places to female students, and has made 4 offers to students taking part in the University’s new Opportunity Oxford programme, for which it will be hosting up to 6 students during the pre-arrival residential programme in September 2020. In developing its Outreach strategy further, the College is seeking to address the challenge of changing public perceptions, in order to attract higher numbers of academically able students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups.
The Tutor for Equality and Diversity has organised a termly Equality and Diversity Forum for Magdalen’s undergraduates and graduates, which provides a space for raising issues and instigating positive changes within the College. Among the improvements which have been made is the setting out of clearer information by the College about arrangements for those with particular dietary requirements, such as the provision of kosher and halal food; training a team of ten Magdalen staff and fellows through a two-day Mental Health First Aid course; working with the Porter’s Lodge on further improvements to their interactions with students; and working with the library to collect student feedback and improve provision for non-visible disabilities in the library.
In co-operation with the JCR and MCR, the College made significant changes to its Student Welfare provision in 2016-17, with the appointment of a Tutor for Welfare, Personal Tutors for all incoming fresher undergraduates, and a Student Mentor to offer advice and guidance to all students on a broad range of topics, to help signpost students to other support services, which include a College Counsellor who is also a member of the University’s Counselling Service, and to organise various sorts of discussion groups or workshops, such as the very popular sessions on Mindfulness. The JCR and MCR also have Welfare Officers and Peer Supporters who receive training in welfare support for students. An additional Sub-Dean was added to the College’s provision from Hilary Term 2018, to increase the ‘out-of-hours’ welfare support available to Magdalen students. From 2017, the College has required all fresher undergraduates to attend a session on Student Safety which included sexual consent guidance provided by the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre. The College’s welfare provision was reviewed again in Trinity Term 2018, leading to a substantial increase in the number of hours of counselling provided by the College and of additional support offered by the Student Mentor (renamed the ‘College Mentor for Students’).
The College’s Human Resources Committee has continued to monitor recruitment data and data on current staff. These are derived from forms completed voluntarily by applicants for posts and by current College staff, and appear to be relatively consistent from year to year in respect of declarations about ethnicity and disability. As before, most of the posts considered are non-academic rather than academic: the majority of the College’s senior academic appointments are made jointly with the University. The University has gathered and published monitoring and statistical data and other Equality information in a series of reports.
These reports incorporate data on a number of the College’s academic staff who hold a joint appointment with the University.
In considering the figures for the Gender Pay Gap at Magdalen (in the reporting year 2016-17: median 2.02%; mean 26.46%; in the reporting year 2017-18: median 0%; mean 27.88%; in the reporting year 2018-19: median 2.36%; mean 25.43%), the Committee has noted the factors that have led to the imbalance in the mean (in particular, the number of male incumbents in the most senior roles), and considered ways of addressing the gap. The College has in place a generous Maternity policy, details of which are advertised in the further particulars for academic vacancies with the aim of attracting more applications from female candidates, and made further improvements to this policy in Trinity Term 2019. In addition, the College’s shared parental leave pay policy mirrors the Maternity pay policy, to encourage men to take on more responsibility for caring for children. In Hilary Term 2020 the College introduced a formal Flexible Working policy. The College is seeking to establish a dedicated College nursery as well as transitional housing for families to attract more applications from female candidates. And the College continues to review its recruitment processes, focus on how to attract more women into the roles within the College where there is currently a preponderance of men, and ensure that all interviewers have received guidance about unconscious bias. In 2019-20 the College appointed female candidates to two of its most senior roles (Development Director in Michaelmas Term 2019, and President in Hilary Term 2020).
Consideration has been given to the promotion of an atmosphere in Magdalen of inclusivity and equality for all members of the community. A revision of the College’s Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech was undertaken in 2016, along with a further revision of the Code of Practice on Harassment (following the revision of that Code which was undertaken in 2015).
The College flew the Rainbow Flag for one week of LGBTQ+ History month every year to 2018, and in Michaelmas Term 2019 agreed to fly the Rainbow Flag for the months of February and June as a celebration of LGBTQ+ History month and Pride month; and it flew the Suffrage Banner on 14 December 2018 to mark 100 years since British and Irish Women first cast a vote in a general election and stood as parliamentary candidates, and again to mark International Women’s Day in March 2019. Magdalen hosted its first ever Iftar on 8 June 2018, bringing together members of the College over a meal in the President’s Lodgings to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Former student of the College Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International, gave the 2018 Waynflete Lecture at the College, entitled ‘Creative maladjustment in a time of affluenza’, concerning the biggest problems faced by society, including inequality and climate change, and the urgency with which they need to be addressed. In 2019-20 the College held celebrations to mark 40 years of the admission of women as equal members of Magdalen, including a day of panel discussions on the experience of being a woman at Magdalen and on Magdalen women in the world after College, concluding with live music from singer Rachel Amosu, and an exhibition curated by Dr Charlotte Berry and Prof. Siân Pooley, entitled ‘Women and Power? A Magdalen Story’, open to the public from 18 September 2019 to 29 April 2020.
The College has also continued to celebrate the achievements of female Fellows at Magdalen by commissioning female portraiture, with recent portraits of Professor Lizzie Fricker and Dr Christine Ferdinand to add to the portrait of Dame Frances Kirwan. At the instigation of the JCR, in close co-operation with the MCR and Fellows of Magdalen, the College commissioned a series of photographic portraits to hang in the Dining Hall, which reflect the diversity of the College’s membership and help to ensure that all students and staff feel included in the College community, and in Trinity Term 2019 the JCR and MCR successfully proposed that the exhibition be extended indefinitely and the portraits renewed periodically to reflect changes in the student population.
The JCR and MCR are also very active in promoting equality in other ways. The JCR has established the post of Trans Officer, to help support the needs of transgender students. Its RaEM (Racial and Ethnic Minorities) Representative has attended the Oxford SU Access and Admissions Focus Group and training sessions of the Oxford SU Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, and the JCR held its second Race Workshop during Freshers’ Week in 2018, along with workshops led by the Welfare and LGBTQ+ Representatives, organised following collaboration with the Tutor for Equality and Diversity. The LGBTQ+ Representatives have hosted weekly drinks in the Old Kitchen Bar, and the Representative for Disabled Students has addressed the issues of common room accessibility, and lighting around the College. The MCR’s Racial Equality Officer worked with counterparts in the JCR to establish an annual dinner for BME students, starting in 2018, to parallel the annual dinner for students identifying as LGBTQ+. In 2017-18 the JCR organised a panel discussion entitled ‘The Power of Out: Being Yourself & Being Successful’, with guest LGBTQ+ speakers from Barclays, Boston Consulting Group, and VISA, and LGBTQ+ drinks are held weekly in the Old Kitchen Bar. The MCR has worked with the Tutor for Equality and Diversity to put on a series of panel talks where women discuss their work in different realms of life, including ‘Women at Oxford’, ‘Women in Social Entrepreneurship’, and ‘Women in Academia’, and to organise a lecture to celebrate LGBTQ+ History month. There has also been close collaboration between the Welfare team and the LGBTQ+ Officers, the Disabilities Representative, and the BME Representative. In 2019-20, the MCR established the position of ‘Vac Rep’, to focus on improving the mental and physical health of students without the means or opportunity to spend the vacation period with friends and family away from the University. And in Hilary term 2020 a group of BAME students, including the JCR RaEM Representative, attended the Parliamentary Report Launch of ‘Empowered Employment: Unlocking the Workplace for Muslim Women’, a report authored by Magdalen alumna Dr Suriyah Bi. Both the JCR and the MCR are proud to be working to make Magdalen an ever more diverse and inclusive environment.
In accordance with its specific duties under the Equality Act 2010, the College has adopted the following two Equality objectives for the years 2020-21 to 2023-24, and will report below on progress in achieving them:
1 To promote good mental health among students and staff at the College.
2 To work towards greater gender equality at the College.
The College’s Equality work covers a much wider range than that referred to in these objectives, and further information is given about this below.
Report for the period Trinity Term 2020 to Hilary Term 2021:
The principal activity in support of this objective has been a thoroughgoing review of the College’s student welfare provision, with input from students and staff in College and comparison with welfare provision at other colleges. This has resulted in proposals for a revised welfare system, with greater cohesion in its structure and clear separation between the welfare and discipline roles of the Deans. This new system will be operational from Michaelmas Term 2021.
Further information is provided below on other activities in the College in support of the promotion of good mental health among its members.
Following extensive outreach work by the College under its Outreach Strategy for 2018-23, the composition of the student body has seen quite significant change. While in December 2018 40.7% of the College’s student population were female (compared with 46.7% in the University as a whole), this figure rose to 46.4% in December 2019 (compared with 47.8% for the University) and 48.2% in December 2020 (compared with 48.7% in the University), such that there is now only a very small difference between the College’s figures and those for the Oxford as a whole.
There has been some movement too in respect of the Gender Pay Gap.
The College’s most senior roles in the 2019-20 reporting year were held by majority male incumbents. In addition, the College has relatively low employee turnover in its senior positions, and while longevity of service has benefits, it can be a barrier to changing the gender balance in particular areas. However, Median pay in College is now higher for women than for men, and since the start of Gender Pay Gap reporting the Mean Gender Pay Gap has reduced as follows:
Teaching and research staff take considerable time developing the experience needed for career progression. This means that it is difficult for early career academics to reach more senior positions swiftly. It is also the case that, in recruiting to academic roles the vacancies are typically in highly specialised areas, which reduces the number of suitable candidates for a vacancy.
Stipendiary Fellows of the College receive a Housing Allowance which has been included when calculating the Gender Pay Gap. Associate Professors who are on joint appointments where Magdalen is the minor employer also receive the full Housing Allowance. This has significantly increased the hourly rate for these employees. Currently there is a 1:3.5 ratio of women to men in Associate Professor roles at Magdalen.
In its efforts to eradicate the Gender Pay Gap the College will continue to review its recruitment processes, focus on how to attract more women into the roles within the College where there is currently a preponderance of men, and ensure that all interviewers have received guidance about unconscious bias. The College will continue to ensure that at least one woman is shortlisted for interview for each senior post, and if this is not possible a justification for this will be submitted to the Human Resources Department.
The College has in place a generous Maternity policy which all staff (Academic and non-Academic) are entitled to from day one of employment, details of which are advertised in the further particulars for all vacancies, with the aim of attracting more applications from female candidates. In addition, the College’s shared parental leave pay policy mirrors the Maternity pay policy, to encourage men to take on more responsibility for caring for children.
The College has introduced more support for those with caring responsibilities (which still predominantly tend to fall to female employees) for both childcare and eldercare. These include a carers’ leave policy and an additional annual leave (unpaid) policy. The College continues to support flexible working practices for employees where job roles allow. The College is still seeking to establish a dedicated College nursery as well as transitional housing for families to attract more applications from female candidates. Plans for these are under development.
The College’s Gender Pay Gap for the reporting year 2019-20 is:
|Quartile||No of Men||No of Women||No in Band||% Men||% Women|
Further details about the College’s Gender Pay Gap in previous years is available here: https://magd.ox.ac.uk/gender-pay-gap/
Both of the College’s specific Equality Objectives for the period 2020-21 to 2023-24 also figure in much of the College’s Other Equality Work:
Between Trinity Term 2020 and Hilary Term 2021, Magdalen adapted its outreach provision to the new virtual educational environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Trinity Term, 33 pre-organised events had to be cancelled, with many others that were yet to be arranged made impossible by COVID-19. Nevertheless, Magdalen conducted 76 events during this time. By the end of Hilary Term, this had involved approximately 2,000 participants (not including the 2,090 students who attended the University Remote Interview Workshops or the many more we have engaged with at HE fairs and the virtual Open Days). We have engaged directly with 59 of our link region schools, as well as engaging with pupils from across the country. We have 105 current undergraduates and graduates trained as student ambassadors, with 42 of them having been trained this academic year. Twenty-two members of the academic staff have participated in events as well.
Trinity Term 2020 saw the introduction of Magdalen’s first virtual outreach events in the form of several ‘Taster Days’ for Year 11-12 students to sign up to as individuals. By this means we reached 250 pupils, teachers, and parents from across our link regions. The success of these events has led us to incorporate this into our regular offering whereby we shall run two virtual taster days every school half-term. Creating asynchronous online content has been important to provide for students who are unable to attend live sessions. We have developed several talks for the Magdalen Youtube channel including a series of academic lectures and a ‘Magdalen in a Minute’ series of current students answering FAQs. We also developed a subject-specific resource pack to help students develop their interest in their subject outside of school.
Despite the cancellation of in-person residentials over the summer, we participated in various online programmes. We collaborated with Dr Tammie Bishop, part of the team led by Nobel Prize-winning Magdalen Fellow Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe, to give 15 Year 12 pupils a chance to participate in remote work experience at the Nuffield Department of Medicine. The pandemic allowed us to provide work experience in Oxford to students from our seven link regions who would have been unable to take part otherwise. The week involved lectures and workshops given by Tammie and her team, including a Q&A with Magdalen Professor Rob Gilbert and a mock tutorial with Samvid Kurkelar, who studied Biochemistry at Magdalen. We were able to still go ahead with our second year of the Law at Magdalen residential, led by Joe Sampson, by converting this into a three-day virtual event, which enabled us to triple our capacity to 90 Year 12 students. The event involved a combination of live and pre-recorded sessions, including student Q&As, academic work, and an opening lecture by Magdalen’s new President, Dinah Rose QC.
The in-person Humanities BAME Study Day scheduled for Easter 2020 at Magdalen had to be cancelled, but was replaced with a half-day online Virtual Humanities BAME Study Day in July. The event had financial support from the Humanities Division and was organised with University College, the History Faculty, and the English Faculty, with significant input from Magdalen Professor Siân Pooley. The event involved an admissions presentation, subject-specific lectures, and a student Q&A, as well as an introduction from the University’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, Samina Khan. The event is being expanded this year to involve all Humanities subject areas.
During Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, the College offered a full schedule of talks and workshops which schools could access digitally. In particular, we supported the University-wide effort to provide remote interview workshops to applicants from state school backgrounds, as well as running our own interview workshops for our link area. With the support of our academic tutors, we have launched a Talks with Tutors programme to allow individuals to access academic sessions to help boost their interest and understanding in a given subject. This has involved over a hundred participants so far, with more virtual talks scheduled for the Easter vacation and in Trinity Term.
This year we also launched two year-long programmes with the University of Cambridge – Next Steps Sheffield, and Progress2Uni in Nottinghamshire. Next Steps Sheffield is being run with Emmanuel College, and offers four online webinars – one for Year 11s and three for Year 12s. These focus on debunking myths about Oxford and supporting students to make a competitive application to university. Progress2Uni is being run with Peterhouse College, and is a sustained programme that was offered to all state schools in Nottinghamshire for able Year 10s to participate in. This five-module programme, involving pre-session tasks and live sessions focusing on introducing pupils to the possibility of attending university, will run throughout the year.
Finally, work is being done to support our offer-holders and our current undergraduate students. For the first time this year we have launched a post-offer scheme which began with sending a welcome pack to all Magdalen offer-holders. We have provided additional optional support for 22 of our offer-holders from under-represented backgrounds in the form of a virtual Welcome Morning, to introduce them to the College and to ask any questions they may have. We have also hired six current students as Access Mentors to provide 1-on-1 mentoring sessions to help offer-holders consider their offer and to provide support in their path to university. Additionally, we have also supported the Opportunity Oxford scheme this year, as we did last year. There is ongoing work by the Outreach Office to consult with current students via our new termly outreach forum about their experiences at Magdalen, with a particular focus on issues that disproportionately impact students from under-represented backgrounds. We hope that this will begin future projects to help our students have a smooth transition to university.
In College, increasing the accessibility of Magdalen’s buildings and grounds for disabled members of the College and visitors was one of the College’s Equality Objectives for the period 2016-17 to 2019-20, and the extensive work undertaken over that period is reported on in the above tile for that period. Further work continued over the period Trinity Term 2020 to Hilary Term 2021, as follows:
- Winter Common Room & Associated Areas. The project is now completed. Alongside the WCR there is the Ante Room, the Terry Newport Room, the Cardinal Wolsey Room, the Glazed Link, and the Sophia Sheppard Room. All existing and new dining rooms/areas are now fully accessible by incorporating lift access to connect ground and first floors, by providing automatic doors, and by the provision of an accessible WC.
- Projects in the planning stages include:
o Chapel – As part of an extensive refurbishment of the Chapel and Antechapel space, the existing PA system will be replaced with a new sound system that has a hearing loop to assist those with hearing impairments. We have obtained listed building consent for the full scope of the project, but at this stage funding has only been secured for part of the project.
o 1-7 Longwall St – An extensive refurbishment will include improvements to accessibility. The gates from Longwall Street leading into the courtyard at the rear of 1-7 Longwall Street will be automated, as will the entrance door and several internal doors. There are two existing accessible ensuite rooms which will be enlarged to bring the spaces into line with current regulations.
o Masterplan – some initial work has been undertaken to consider where improvements to accessibility can be made across the estate. These will be developed further through the remainder of the process.
A detailed account of the College’s regular provision for disabled students is given in the tile above for the 2012-13 to 2015-16 reporting period.
As a result of the pandemic, the exercise to monitor equality data on current staff was postponed this year. It continues to be the case that the majority of the College’s senior academic appointments are made jointly with the University. The University has gathered and published monitoring and statistical data and other Equality information in a series of reports.
These reports incorporate data on a number of the College’s academic staff who hold a joint appointment with the University.
At the initiative of the College’s JCR and MCR in Trinity Term 2020 an advisory group was formed on ‘Tackling Racial Inequality in Magdalen’. The group has met twice, and work on a wide variety of proposals has been under way in the areas of increasing awareness of diversity within College, outreach initiatives, funding for BAME scholarships, College-organised cultural events, religion-based dietary options, equalities workshops, training, and historical investigation into the role of colonialism in the College’s past. This has led to various activities, including the contribution of information about Magdalen to the ‘Oxford and Colonialism’ website (https://oxfordandcolonialism.web.ox.ac.uk/magdalen-college), the allocation of funding for two student internships to research the history and legacy of colonialism at Magdalen, and fundraising for a BAME Scholarship in Law (in conjunction with the Law Faculty) and for a Black Academic Futures Scholarship.
Magdalen’s Tutors for Equality and Diversity organised an Equality and Diversity Forum in Michaelmas Term 2020, in which they engaged members of the outgoing MCR and JCR Committees (Presidents and Equality and Diversity representatives) in wide-ranging conversation. This provided a space for reflecting on what the College was doing well, what could be improved, and particular ways in which the lockdowns had impacted on Equality and Diversity outcomes. Additionally, the Tutors have participated in the College’s forum for tackling racial inequality in College (see below), and in the University’s Equality & Diversity Forum. Working closely with the Senior Dean, in Hilary Term 2021, they convened a College-wide consultation with the aim of exploring ways that the College could further support and celebrate its LGBTQIA members past and present. Other concrete actions have included:
- Encouraging participation in workshops, lectures and training events pertaining to Equality and Diversity occurring throughout the University.
- Supporting individual students and finding solutions to particular complaints and suggestions.
- Liaison with other members of the College’s Welfare Team, including attendance of weekly meetings during term and providing input into the Welfare Review. In celebration of Diwali, Magdalen’s Dining Hall was decorated with lights between 12 and 16 November 2020, and on Saturday 14 November 2020 a vegetarian Indian menu was served.
This year, the JCR has established an Equalities Committee in order to co-ordinate an intersectional approach to equality. With the input of the JCR, the College is in the process of setting up a multi-faith prayer room. A ‘cultural events’ fund has been established by the JCR, which is open for all students to fund cultural events of a celebratory or educational nature. There has been significant progress on making the JCR and MCR accessible, with plans being drawn up by an architect and passed at a JCR meeting. The JCR has established the post of socioeconomic officer, to help support the needs of students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Across Trinity and Michaelmas Terms 2020, the MCR introduced into its constitution a new ‘Equality Subcommittee’ with a once-termly meeting focused specifically on topics affecting minorities within Magdalen, and has participated in the ‘Tackling Racial Inequality in Magdalen’ advisory group with the other common rooms, to emphasise equality spanning the influence of the College.
In conjunction with the above, the MCR and JCR have also mandated annual unconscious bias training for some of their committee members. Furthermore, beginning in Hilary Term 2021, the termly MCR termcard is reviewed by the Racial Equality, Women’s, LGBTQ+, and Disabilities Officers before finalisation, to ensure that it is free of bias.
The Transgender Flag, on a joint initiative between the JCR and MCR, flew for the first time in November 2020 to mark Transgender Awareness Month.