The Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion launches its 2022-2025 strategy to progress social justice.
The Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) was established in 2017, in recognition of the fundamental role universities can play in realising the transformational goals of a healthier, more sustainable and equitable society.
Under UNSW’s Strategy 2025 Vision for Social Impact, EDI continues to work to shape and progress a just society by mobilising our community’s expertise to lead debate, sustainably address global challenges, and foster equity, diversity and inclusion.
“Equity is essential for equality, social justice, and inclusion, and for people to be able to access their human rights. That includes the right to education, to be free from discrimination, abuse and harassment, and to have a safe place in which to work and study. Equity recognises that some people are structurally, personally and socially excluded from educational and career advantages” said Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion.
“The EDI Strategy sets out how the Division will carry out this important work. It proposes ambitious but concrete goals and sets achievable targets against which progress can be measured and improved. Significantly, the Strategy builds on our University’s work of promoting equity and diversity, and responsible global citizenship over the past five years.”
What’s in the strategy
The strategy has four main goals:
- Influence, guide and author University strategies, policies and procedures to support equity, diversity and inclusion principles and reduce structural barriers for underrepresented students and staff at UNSW
- Activate the institution’s commitment to and responsibility for students and staff by ensuring that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are effectively embedded at every level of the University
- Collaborate and guide faculties and divisions to drive a culture of integrity, equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at a local level that are contextually relevant, aligned with the strategic intent, and support the delivery of the shared 2025 Strategy KPIs
- Partner with students, staff and others to not only encourage a culture of equity diversity and inclusion within UNSW but also in the wider community in professions, workplaces and everyday life.
These goals will be delivered through the Divisions four pillars:
- Access, Equity and Inclusion, to build a welcoming, diverse UNSW where everyone can participate in a fair, safe and respectful environment
- Sustainable Development, to align with, coordinate and promote UNSW’s activities in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- UNSW Institute for Global Development, to partner with students, staff, alumni and the community to align UNSW’s expertise and research with Australia’s aspirations and the SDGs.
- UNSW Disability Innovation Institute, to lead disability-inclusive ways of working and improve engagement practices by connecting researchers and educators with lived experiences of disability.
A whole of university approach
Endorsed by new Vice-Chancellor and President, Attila Brungs, “This EDI Strategy uses a Theory of Change to provide an evidence base and practical framework for embedding equity, diversity and inclusion into everything the University does. It is our community’s roadmap to guide respectful behaviours, help implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals, promote inclusion, and provide pathways and support for students and staff who have been underrepresented at UNSW.”
As a small division, the only way EDI can achieve its goals across the university is collaboratively, working with the faculties, schools, divisions, centres and student clubs and societies. This approach, that now includes the vast networks of EDI committees, plans, staff and student officers and champions, has been and will continue to be the Division’s greatest strength.
Professor Baldry states, “We know that achieving our strategic goals will be no easy task and that much work lies ahead of us. Our efforts have been hampered by the pandemic, which has widened the chasms of inequality that existed between and amongst people, communities, and countries. However, we are ambitious, and we are collaborating to deliver our vision for the whole University.”