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EDI and related policies


At the University, our values – Community, Inclusion, Discovery, Excellence and Respect – are at the very heart of everything we do.

We've used them to guide the creation of our strategy ensuring our goals and future successes reflect the type of institution we are – Leading the progress towards creating a fair, socially just and inclusive society.

We also use them to guide the way we behave so we continue to be a University that has a thriving, diverse and global community.

We strive to ensure that all our policies are inclusive. If you notice any language used in our policies which you feel is not fully inclusive or representative of the diversity of our employees, please contact the EDI team


The University of Exeter values the diversity of its community because it believes this enriches employment, research, studying and learning experiences.

The University is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a working, learning and social environment that is free from unfair discrimination. It aims to ensure that staff, students, visitors and all others associated with the University are treated with dignity, respect, and equity, regardless of inappropriate distinctions, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (as identified under the Equality Act 2010 as 'protected characteristics').

In addition, the University will comply with all relevant legislation and aims to promote good practice in all aspects of the University.


The University Council has the responsibility for developing policy, monitoring its implementation and reviewing its effectiveness through the University’s Dual Assurance Administration Partnership for equality, diversity and inclusion.

In line with its Value of ‘Community’, the University recognises that all its staff, students, visitors and others associated with the University have a responsibility to ensure that their actions comply with both the requirements and the spirit of the policy.

October 2022

EDI Policy Statement (PDF version)

Other relevant policies and procedures

Click HERE for the policy

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, along with other Russell Group Universities, has called for urgent assurances from ministers over the rights of citizens from EU member states living in the UK, as well as reiterating the commitment of Russell Group universities to maintain research ties with partners across Europe. 

We exist to extend knowledge and understanding and foster critical thinking and expression through our world-class research and delivery of our internationally excellent education. It is a primary duty of universities to uphold the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law.

Our academics and students own the right to research, debate and disseminate their findings without fear of censorship or control, and our academics have the freedom to teach or communicate their research (even it is inconvenient to external political groups or to authorities) without fear of reprisals and in an environment of mutual respect.

The University's agreement on academic freedom


The University recognises that social media has the potential to support and advance learning opportunities and collaborative working both within the University between current students and colleagues, and externally with our partners, alumni and prospective students.

It is important to recognise that the use of social media can pose risks which could impact upon the wellbeing of students and colleagues, as well as the reputation of the University.

The social media for employees policy and social media guidance is intended to minimise these risks, so that students and colleagues can enjoy the benefits of social networking whilst understanding the standards of conduct expected by the University.

The University is committed to the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom, alongside a duty of care to its staff, students and visitors. Our policies for the booking of speakers and events reflect this and confirm our commitment to allow events to go ahead providing that they are within the law.

Event Referral Panel Approval Process

The University has an unwavering commitment to tolerance, respect and inclusivity. These qualities are at the very heart of who we are, what we achieve, and what we both expect and demand of everyone associated with Exeter – past, present and future. The overriding majority of our staff and students work tirelessly to ensure absolutely everyone feels welcomed, encouraged, supported and embraced, no matter their background, religion or nationality. the University unreservedly condemns any act of antisemitism and has adopted the IHRA definitiion of antisemitism in full.

There is no dress code for staff or students at the University of Exeter, except where requirements are necessitated by health and safety or professional standards deemed by the University to be necessary to the performance of duties and studies associated with the role.

We welcome the diversity of appearance resulting from individual choices and style, including the wearing of items which reflect particular religious and/or cultural norms, and all staff and students may dress in accordance with their gender identity and gender expression.