Our vision for Inclusive Sussex

Our vision is to become Inclusive Sussex, where all members of our community have equal access to opportunities, experience the University as one that enables them to fully meet their potential, and supports them to make a full contribution to the University.

Our vision

Reducing inequalities, addressing under-representation and disadvantage, celebrating diversity and becoming ever more inclusive allows us all to thrive. We can achieve more together than we can apart.

This equality, diversity and inclusion strategy sets out the steps we will take to become an Inclusive Sussex. This is a collective endeavour involving management, staff and students to create a fully inclusive campus by and for our whole community.

We have identified five key goals to make Sussex truly inclusive: equality, diversity, connection, accessibility and flexibility.

Achieving equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of the University of Sussex. We aspire not just to reduce inequalities in outcomes for individuals, but to use our expertise, commitment and courage to challenge the status quo in order to change the University, and the wider world, for the better. We will take bold action to transform the campus into one that is experienced as inclusive by all our communities. This includes understanding and addressing unequal power relations and the intersecting inequalities that many members of our community experience. Our plans to deliver Inclusive Sussex include actions to transform our campus and the experiences of all our staff and students. With it we hope to create a culture where everyone thrives, making Sussex an exemplar of good practice and a beacon in the sector, nationally and internationally.

We have much to be proud of in building an equal, diverse and inclusive community at Sussex. In terms of gender equality our percentage of women professors is higher than much of the sector and our Widening Participation programme of engagement and support has resulted in significantly reducing the awarding gap for our ‘first generation scholars’. But we know from our data, research and consultations that we have much more to do, for example, by closing the gender pay gap, improving the representation and experience of black and minority ethnic staff, closing the awarding and employment gaps across different groups of students, and making our campus fully accessible.

Our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion

Inclusive Sussex is built on the premise that to advance equality, diversity and inclusion, we must recognise and tackle both visible and invisible structural barriers.

Structural inequality is where exclusion and disadvantage are embedded in the policies, practices and decision making of the institution, and therefore also in our curriculum, culture and environment. It is historically fashioned and has given rise to current unequal status, power and benefits between different groups of people and has led to differential experiences and outcomes, resulting in underrepresentation and disadvantage.

Our approach is to tackle structural inequality in Sussex and its manifestation in our behaviours and actions. Through working with our community, we use an evidence-led approach to understand the particular challenges and barriers faced by members of underrepresented, disadvantaged and minoritised groups.

Activities that form part of Inclusive Sussex are designed to remove those barriers through change in structural processes, culture and other change, and we will learn from each activity to allow for continuous improvement on this journey. Our activities aim to engage the Sussex community so that together, we deepen our understanding and knowledge and collectively become responsible for EDI.

View our Inclusive Sussex Strategy in full

Find out more about how we will build an Inclusive Sussex [PDF 418KB].

You might also be interested in: