Ensuring equality of opportunity

Equality and inclusivity are at the heart of everything we do, and we strive for continuous improvement through an atmosphere in which barriers are broken down and inequalities are challenged.

At Essex you will find a community committed to fostering an environment in which all students and staff can achieve their potential.  Whatever your background, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability, and whatever your interests, Essex is the place to be yourself and find your tribe.


Our commitment
  • We are committed to making a lasting difference to the experiences of our BAME students and staff through positive action, tackling racism and decolonising our curriculum
  • We promote the advancement of women in all areas of academia, actively working to close gender gaps and raise awareness of gender issues through supportive networks
  • We support the right of freedom of religion and belief, and provide opportunities and space for everyone to practice their faith across our three campuses

Equality in practice...

Race equality 

 Essex has a zero tolerance approach towards racism and is committed to the Race Equality Charter, which aims to improve representation of the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) community in higher education.  We are also developing resources to help departments decolonise their curricula, using a number of tools including a library guide and a review of reading lists to include a diversity of perspectives.

The Essex End Everyday Racism research project was launched in 2023 to offer students and staff a way of sharing their experiences of racism on an anonymous basis.  The aim of the research is to build a picture of the impact of racism on students and staff to support anti-racism advocacy and social justice activism at Essex and beyond.

There are a range of societies and groups for both students and staff that provide a friendly environment for socialising and engaging in social and political issues:

The Student's Union Black Social and Political Society aims to raise awareness of the issues facing the Black community through events and debates, and collaborates with local organisations on volunteering schemes and student career development.

The BAME community staff forum is a group for Essex staff and PhD students to share their experiences, and discuss ways of addressing inequalities.

A black lives matter protest.)
A black lives matter protest.

Gender equality 


The Essex Women’s network was created to provide a forum for networking and support where women can share ideas and raise awareness of gender issues across the university.

The Athena Swan charter was established in 2005 to promote the advancement of women in the academic areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It was expanded in 2015 to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, as well as professional services.

Misogyny and sexual violence against women are not tolerated at Essex and the university is committed to keeping our campuses safe and promoting a culture of gender equality. In 2021, after the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, the University Steering Group agreed further actions to tackle harassment and sexual violence against women.


3 female students at Essex)
3 female students at Essex

Access and disability 

 Whatever your access requirements, Essex is your home from home. We offer both practical and academic support to disabled students and anyone with access needs:

Accessibility at Essex)
Accessibility at Essex


 Essex is proud to have been re-accredited by Stonewall for our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace and we have a working group to support and represent trans and non-binary students and staff to address issues of concern within that community.

We also support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus community through our Student's Union LGBTQ+ society, one of the biggest societies at Essex. The society aims to campaign and bring about positive change, and organises events throughout the year to raise awareness and bring the community together.

There are a number of local charities and groups offering support services specific to the LGBTQ community and the Essex Student Services Hub is always there to offer advice and confidential counselling.



Religion and faith 

We are proud of our multi-cultural, multi-faith Essex student community, bringing together students and staff from a variety of beliefs, traditions and faiths.  Our campuses provide facilities for quiet contemplation, prayer and reflection where everyone can feel safe and respected to practice, whatever their religion or belief.

In addition to opportunities for individual practice, there are organised services offered by a number of Student’s Union faith societies and by our chaplains and faith representatives across our three campuses:

Faith at Essex)
Faith at Essex
Student at reception desk
Report and support

At Essex we take a zero tolerance approach towards bullying, sexual harassment and hate crime. Our confidential service offers 24 hour support and the chance to report incidents anonymously.

Find out more about the support we offer and contact an adviser