Informatics' Equality and Diversity Blog

June 7, 2017

Brexit update from the University

Filed under: Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 9:49 am

Senior Vice-Principal Professor Charlie Jeffery has issued the following update for EU staff:

You may have seen recent media reports about the number of EU academics leaving UK universities, with the implication that this is a direct result of Brexit.

The reports are very misleading since they do not take into account the numbers of EU staff we have recruited over the same period. In fact, at Edinburgh, over the last three years the numbers of our EU staff (both academic and non-academic) have increased each year with new recruits significantly outweighing departures. Recruiting talented colleagues from the EU and around the world is crucial to maintaining our success as one of the world’s leading universities.

That said, we are not complacent about the ongoing uncertainty around the status of EU nationals and how unsettling this continues to be for EU staff and students, and those with EU family members. I recently argued strongly in favour of the rights of EU citizens in the UK at a joint hearing at the European Parliament, and we continue to work with key sector bodies to secure these rights.

Over 600 staff attended the recent information sessions for EEA staff and staff with EEA partners, with 330 staff following up with 1-2-1 consultations with immigration experts. We want to support colleagues in this way as much as possible and will be hosting additional 1-2-1 consultations in Semester 1 for those who could not attend the recent sessions, while reviewing further support that might be required as Brexit negotiations progress. Full details of the support currently available to EU staff and staff with EU partners can be found at

We also offer practical and financial support to non-EEA, Tier 2 sponsored staff, with full details available at Over the summer we will be enhancing this support with the appointment of a regulated immigration adviser, able to advise and assist non-EEA staff with their visa applications. Further information on accessing this service will be provided to non-EEA staff over the next few weeks.

I will keep you updated on any developments through direct emails, and you can read the latest news on our website at

May 2, 2017

EEA staff: book your legal consultation meeting

Filed under: General,Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 9:40 am
EU flag

EU flag

EEA staff and staff with an EEA partner/dependants, can now sign up for a 20-minute, 1-2-1, individual consultation meeting with a member of the legal team from McGill & Co.

Most (270) sessions will take place during the week of 15 May, in Charles Stewart House.

Book now via MyEd until Wednesday 10 May: (EASE login required).

Busy or away?

Staff working away from Edinburgh from 15 May can book the event named ‘Telephone Individual Consultation Meeting’, also via MyEd:

A member of the University HR Services team will then be in touch to co-ordinate your availability with that of McGill & Co, either during the week of 15 May or at a later date.

Staff who are working in Edinburgh during the week of 15 May but are unable to attend any session, or find suitable times have been taken, should register for a cancellation or future sessions by booking the event named ‘Waiting List – Individual Consultation Meeting’, also via MyEd:

Future sessions will be arranged for later in May/early June, according to demand.

Missed the group sessions?

Videos of the three group information sessions, the slides presented and Frequently Asked Questions from the 600+ attendees will be published on the HR webpages on Friday 5 May.

The 1-2-1 meetings form part of a package of additional advice and support for staff which includes:
– Reduced costs for staff who may need additional legal advice
– Financial support to help spread the cost of UK residency fees and/or citizenship fees and legal advice
– Practical help to obtain evidence of employment and earnings to support applications.

Full details are available at

April 24, 2017

Further support for EEA staff

Filed under: Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 2:14 pm

Staff from the European Economic Area (EEA) and staff with EEA partners/dependants can now access the following additional support:

  • a 1-2-1 meeting with an external immigration advisor, bookable through MyEd from Monday 1 May to take place from Monday 15 May
  • a list of Scottish legal firms who specialise in immigration law
  • an interest free loan, available to those applying for UK residency, indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship (including non-EEA staff)

Staff can request evidence of employment and earnings to support their residency/citizenship applications.

Full details are now available at

April 5, 2017

Advice for EEA and Swiss staff

Filed under: Events,Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 4:02 pm
EU flag

EU flag

Twelve one-hour, group advice sessions are being organised around the University for staff who are nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Led by external lawyers, the sessions will take place 24-28 April 2017 and cover:

–   How to apply for a UK residence certificate and permanent residence card

–   How to apply for British citizenship

–   Information for any member of staff with an EEA partner/dependants

They form part of a package of additional advice and support for staff over the coming months which includes: Individual consultation meetings with an external immigration adviser; Reduced costs for staff who may need additional legal advice; Financial support to help spread the cost of residency fees and legal advice; Practical help to obtain evidence of employment and earnings to support applications.

Book through MyEd before Friday 14 April: (EASE login required)

March 29, 2017

“Edinburgh remains proudly European and international”

Filed under: Equality,General,Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 11:04 am

The Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea

The Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, has issued the following statement to staff:

I wanted to write to all students and staff today, as the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 which starts the formal two-year negotiation of Britain’s exit from the European Union. As I have said in my earlier messages, Edinburgh is and will remain a proudly European and international University. We are always open to new ideas and are founded on an ethos of collaboration. We take great pride in, and strength from, the 157 nations that make up the student and staff body of the University of Edinburgh and that will not change.

As we now enter the formal period of negotiation, our messages to government stress the positives of an international outlook. The importance of securing the rights of EU citizens already working in the UK is paramount and long term access to EU research funding programmes remains central to the overall success of our Universities. On the latter point, the guarantees the UK Government has already given to underwrite the payments of awards won, alongside other signals, affords us some comfort that this message is getting through.

Much activity is taking place across the University as we seek to strengthen our existing relationships and to build new partnerships with our European peers.

We continue to be the number one destination in Scotland for applications from the EU and we welcome the recent announcement by Scottish Government that EU nationals enrolling in 2018-19 have been guaranteed free tuition for the duration of their entire course.

I know that for many people there will be further concern around whether you, or members of your family, might be impacted by changes to residency rights. In order to support those members of staff who might be affected we are now offering loans for residency fees and a new set of targeted free legal information sessions, as well as providing further advice to our students.

I am always encouraged to see how people from across the University are working together to demonstrate their support for each other and for our message – that we remain strongly and positively European.

March 15, 2017

Support for staff from the European Economic Area and Switzerland

Filed under: Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 3:22 pm

The University is working to support staff from the European Economic Area and Switzerland at the UK moves to trigger Brexit, and will offer the following support over the coming months:

  • Group sessions with external lawyers who will give advice about applying for UK residency and British citizenship
  • Individual consultation meetings with an external immigration adviser
  • Reduced costs for staff who may need additional legal advice
  • Financial support to help spread the cost of residency fees and legal advice
  • Practical help to obtain evidence of employment and earnings to support applications.

More details are available at

February 20, 2017

1 Day Without Us

Filed under: Events,Race (protected characteristic) — hwalker2 @ 12:46 pm

Informatics InternationalInformatics has celebrated ‘1 Day Without Us’, the National Day of Action to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, with a coffee morning.

Staff and postgraduate students also gathered in the Atrium of the Forum on Friday for photographs to celebrate our diversity.

Prof Bob Fisher summed up the feelings of many when he circulated an email saying: “I know that there are a lot of external controversies about immigration. I’ve been here a long time and always felt welcome by the people I’ve met and enjoyed seeing how our diversity has grown. I want to say how proud I am of my colleagues and the working environment in Informatics and the University. Informatics is a very diverse group of people, and that’s part of what makes it an effective as well as interesting place to work. Informatics celebrates our diversity. Irrespective of the political storms outside (which come and go), the University continues to do the right thing: create and disseminate knowledge, prepare the next generation at all levels.”

Thanks to Kyriakos Kalorkoti (KK) for the photo and Kasia Kokowska, Ségo Gallus and Effie McDonald for the delicious cookies, cheesecake and scones.

February 9, 2017

EPSRC survey of diversity and inclusion barriers in ICT research

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has commissioned Napier University to carry out a survey in the UK of staff and research postgraduates researching Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), to investigate barriers around diversity and inclusion.

The survey will be open until 28 February 2017.

Take part here:

January 12, 2017

Resources on our website

Last year, the School developed a new section of its website, called Work with us which includes current staff vacancies, Equality and Diversity information (not least details of our Athena SWAN Silver Award) and links to University work-related policies.

The Equality and Diversity section includes a useful list of resources around:

  • challenging preconceptions
  • women in science and technology
  • equality legislation
  • ‘protected characteristics’ – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.

Why not have a browse?

CSTeachingTips for Reducing Bias

CSTeachingTips is a North American project led by Harvey Mudd College which develops computer science teaching tips to help teachers anticipate students’ difficulties and build upon their strengths.

Resources include a short video / 7-point checklist on Tips for Reducing Bias.

Theme: Rubric.