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Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN is a national scheme, run by Advance HE, an organisation which came into being in March 2018, following the merger of the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises a commitment to supporting and advancing gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

The Charter was established to encourage advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research and since the University received its Bronze award, Athena SWAN’s criteria have changed, so that the institution needed to be reassessed. Since May 2015, the Charter has been expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not solely barriers to progression that affect women.

The University of Chester was recognised, once again, for its commitment to gender equality for staff and students and retained its Athena Swan Bronze institution award, confirmed in November 2018, after undertaking a detailed assessment of gender equality.

The two-year internal assessment included quantitative (staff data) and qualitative evidence of policies, practices, systems and arrangements, identifying both challenges and opportunities.  This led to the development of a 63-point, four-year plan for the University that builds on this assessment, information on activities that are already in place and what has been learned from them.  The institution’s self-assessment team comprised academic and professional staff from across the University.

Navajo Merseyside and Chester LGBTIQA Charter Mark

The University of Chester holds the Navajo Merseyside and Cheshire LGBTIQA Charter Mark, an equality mark supported by LGBTI community networks across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Gaining the institutional Charter Mark is an indication of good practice, commitment and knowledge of the specific needs, issues and barriers facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. By gaining the Charter Mark, the University becomes part of the Navajo community, working with other organisations to support and promote LGBT+ rights. The University of Chester is one of only two universities in the region to receive it.

 To receive a copy of the application and action plan, please email

Disability Confident

Previously known as the Two Ticks scheme, Disability Confident is a government run scheme, which works with employers to “remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations”.

There are three levels of award within the Disability Confident scheme, level 1, level 2 and level 3.  The University of Chester has been recognised as a Level 2 Disability Confident Employer.

As a Disability Confident Employer we:

  • have undertaken and successfully completed the Disability Confident self-assessment
  • are taking all of the core actions to be a Disability Confident employer
  • are offering at least one activity to get the right people for our business and at least one activity to keep and develop our people.

For further information on Disability Confident, please visit the national website.

Monitoring Documents

The University works proactively to promote and embed the principles of inclusion in all our actions. In addition to maintaining a range of equality awards, networks and accreditations the University also reviews the effectiveness of its policies and practices through various monitoring reports:

Equality Reports


Gender Pay Reports

Other Reports and Policies