Middlesex University has become the first UK university to be awarded a Corporate Gold/Embedded Charter Mark by equality, diversity and inclusion specialists UK Investor in Equality and Diversity (UKIED).
The Charter Mark was presented at UKIED's annual conference in Bloomsbury on Friday 12th October, where Shadow Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler and Visiting Teaching Fellow at Middlesex Patti Boulaye OBE gave keynote addresses. Middlesex joins organisations including the National Union of Students, the Institute of Physics, the General Medical Council and the Financial Conduct Authority in receiving the Charter Mark.
In a rigorous assessment process, including interviews with staff, students and external contacts and a site visit, UKIED concluded there was “overwhelming and compelling evidence, particularly in relation to students, that Middlesex University is genuinely committed to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within all elements of the learner experience”.
Middlesex's approaches to diversity teaching include a final year undergraduate EDI module, where students have worked on internal research or on developing diversity toolkits for partner organisations' blue-chip clients including the Big Four accounting firms KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and Ernst & Young. A number of businesses have recruited Middlesex graduates who have previously worked with them on diversity initiatives. The Ministry of Justice, which has put in place a social mobility framework to attract and retain diverse talent, is developing an internship programme designed specifically for Middlesex students.
International student Jordy Cheng Ka Yik, who came to study at Middlesex from China, said of his experience studying the EDI module: “The course helped me to identify, understand and analyse some crucial concepts such as cross-cultural difference that extended my narrow mind-set into something that is now prepared to enter into the globally diverse environment.”
Doirean Wilson, Middlesex's Diversity Lead and Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management said, "It was Middlesex's innovative student-focused approach to working with diversity that was the main motivator behind the award. Middlesex students graduate with a ‘diversity dividend’: they understand how to build relationships, how to be patient, how to negotiate, how to capture and work with different ideas and opinions, and how to set out and get buy-in for plans for improvement.
"We are delighted to be awarded the UKIED charter mark. At the same time we know we need to expand and improve our programme to make sure all of our students graduate with this massively important additional capacity for knowledge, skills and understanding".