Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who has access to the equal opportunities information I declare as a job applicant or employee?

    Access to equality monitoring information is controlled and stored securely. The information can be viewed by those staff that provide information, advice and guidance to you, and staff that need to update your student record. Your tutor does not have access to this information, but may be provided with some information, such as if you have a disability, where it is relevant to teaching.

  • Do I have to provide equal opportunities information?

    The University has a legitimate purpose in requesting that you provide equal opportunities information and will contact all new and existing staff and students from time to time to ask you to maintain your student or staff record. It will greatly assist us in monitoring equality of opportunity if you can provide this information. Our aim is to ensure that no student or staff group experiences disadvantage because of individual characteristics or circumstances. If you object to providing a response to a particular equal opportunities question for any reason, you can state ‘I do not wish to declare’.

  • How may women are in senior management positions at the OU?

    At December 2012, 33% of the most senior job roles at the University were held by women. In the five years from 2008 to 2012, women were slightly more likely to be promoted than men overall. The OU has around twice the proportion of female professors in comparison to the sector overall.

  • Is there a prayer room at the regional centre?

    Due to the relatively small size of most regional and national centres, there is insufficient space for dedicated prayer or meditation facilities. If you are a member of staff, space will be made available wherever possible to accommodate your religious observance. If you are a student or member of the public attending an event or meeting at a centre, and you require a quiet space, please advise staff at the centre in advance, so that every effort can be made to accommodate your request. A dedicated prayer room is provided at the Walton Hall campus.

  • Is there a LGBT staff network?

    There is a network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff and postgraduate research students, one for disabled staff and one for ethnic minority staff. There is also a Hong Kong Chinese staff network and a network to advance careers of women. Further information is available to staff on the intranet.

  • What can I expect if I start work or study with the OU part way through gender reassignment?

    We recognise that some people transition from one gender to another with relative ease and others do not. Whatever your individual circumstances, we will respond in a supportive way. If you apply for a job or register for study, we will not ask you to declare if you are transgender, however you may want to disclose this if you have particular needs, for example, if you are concerned about how others may react, or if you will require time off for medical appointments or procedures. Your line manager (for staff) or a named contact (for students) will discuss your circumstances and needs with you and develop a confidential action plan to manage issues such as disclosing to others and changing University records where appropriate. A policy document and guidance has been created for staff and their line managers and is available to staff on the HR intranet.