Being working class should be considered a protected characteristic with university policy and practice

Passed: March 2020 (17th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

As the widening participation agenda has developed, universities particularly Russell groups remain steadfast in the idea of what makes a student, although some work is being done around inclusion, class/socio-economic background is rarely discussed. When it is, it is often with the narrative of middle class norm/working class 'other'. The discussion needs to be opened up to ensure that all learners have the same value and thus opportunities across campus. If we are to ever reach the university strategy of 'everyone included, everyone involved', then we must change perspectives.

Expires: March 2023 (17th)

Submitted By: Clare Mawson

Officer: Education / Equality & Diversity

Area of Work: Access to Education

Updates

September 2021: In order to make 'working class' a protected characteristic within the University, a precedent would need to be set by the national Government. As a result, LUU is looking to adopt a new approach to ensure students from working class families are fully represented and included. This aims to be modelled on 'First in Family' initiatives adopted by the University of Birmingham and University of York. Moreover, the student submitter of this idea is now the staff member at LUU taking the lead on this policy, so it will remain an active priority for LUU.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

April 2020: The proposer met (digitally) with the Democracy Manager and Head of Academic Representation to discuss next steps - working on a set of outcomes to hand over to Academic Representation Team. Opportunity as well to link up with the LibCos for next year (Working Class is now included in their role) and UpReach Society.

March 2020: New Policy