Equal Opportunities Policy

As part of the wider University, St Catherine’s College works to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest ability from applying to Oxford, either as staff or students. The College aims to provide an inclusive environment which values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected to assist them in reaching their full potential.

The College's Commitment


No prospective or actual student or member of staff will be treated less favourably than any other, whether before, during or after their study or employment at St Catherine’s College on one or more of the following grounds, except when such treatment is within the law and determined by lawful requirements:

  1. age;
  2. colour;
  3. disability;
  4. ethnic origin;
  5. marital status;
  6. nationality;
  7. national origin;
  8. parental status;
  9. race;
  10. religion or belief;
  11. gender;
  12. sexual orientation;
  13. or length or type of contract (e.g. part-time or fixed-term).

With regard to staff, the policy and practice of the College require that all staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment, and that entry into (and progression within) employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of the post. In all cases, ability to perform the job is the primary consideration. This policy applies to (but is not limited to) advertising of jobs, recruitment and selection, to training and development, to opportunities for promotion, to conditions of service, benefits, facilities and pay, to health and safety, to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures, and to termination of employment.

With regard to students, the College aims to provide education of excellent quality at undergraduate and postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities and governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential. This policy applies to (but is not limited to) admissions, to teaching, learning and research provision, to scholarships, grants and other awards under the College’s control, to student support, to College accommodation and other facilities, to health and safety, to personal conduct and to student complaints and disciplinary procedures.

In order to realise its commitment, the College will:

  • promote the aims of this policy;
  • be proactive in eliminating discrimination, including harassment and bullying, through training and the production and dissemination of codes of practice and guidance;
  • have regard to its obligations under relevant legislation, including the requirement to meet the public sector equality duty, and for its policies, codes of practice and guidance to be changed to meet the demands of new legislation;
  • whilst acknowledging that they are not legally binding, have regard to any Codes of Practice issued or adopted by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights;
  • make this policy, as well as all codes of practice and guidance available to all staff and students; and
  • regularly review the terms of this policy and all associated codes of practice and guidance.



Equality Committee

The Equality Committee will oversee the development of Equal Opportunities policy frameworks and their application in the College, working as appropriate with those colleagues and bodies, including those committees with responsibility for student matters, that have specific mandates.

All staff and students

This policy applies to all members of St Catherine’s College, both students and staff, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts, to job applicants, to student applicants, current and former students, to associate members and to visitors to St Catherine’s. These members of the College have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with dignity at all times and not to discriminate against or harass other students or members of staff, whether junior or senior to them.

St Catherine’s expects all its staff and students to take personal responsibility for familiarising themselves with this policy and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times to respect equality of opportunity for all staff, students, applicants and visitors.

The College regards any breach of this policy by any employee(s) or student(s) as a serious matter to be dealt with through its agreed procedures and which may result in disciplinary action.



St Catherine’s College takes seriously any breach of this policy. Disregard of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The College encourages any prospective or current student or member of staff who has a complaint concerning a breach of this policy to bring such a complaint to the attention of the Academic Registrar (in the case of prospective or current students) or the Home Bursar (in the case of staff).

Monitoring and Review


The College’s Equal Opportunities policy is a “living” document which will change in the light of experience and/ or new legislation. The College therefore undertakes, through its Equality Committee, to continuously monitor and (if appropriate) review the content or operation of this policy.

The College also welcomes suggestions and/ or comments relating to its Equal Opportunities policy, and these should be sent to the Home Bursar.