Guidelines for Staff and Students
Language is important in portraying and shaping perceptions and attitudes and it is not neutral or value free. Particular words can exclude and devalue people. This leaflet aims to promote good practice in using language in an inclusive way, which shows respect for, and sensitivity towards, all other members of our University community.
The University’s Equal Opportunities Policy states:
" The University supports equality of opportunity in respect of its student provision and staff employment practices. It deplores all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination and seeks to provide an environment free from discrimination against students, staff and others on the grounds of age, gender, marital status, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability or sexual orientation."
The University’s Equal Opportunities Codes of Practice state:
"All promotional material will be non-discriminatory and inclusive."
"Teaching and learning material and assessment procedures will be free from discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, marital status, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability or sexual orientation."
"All recruitment documents for staff will be phrased in language which is non-discriminatory and inclusive."
The choice of appropriate words makes an important contribution to the celebration of diversity; as well as avoiding offence, it is about treating each other with dignity and as equal members of an integrated community.
It may be helpful to consider language guidelines under the following headings. Language is, of course, dynamic and terms disappear, re-emerge and are revised. We, therefore, encourage all members of the University community to be sensitive to changing expressions and meanings as they emerge.
Instead of referring to both sexes with words such as he, him, his, use terms that cover both e.g. s/he, she or he, they. When referring to people in general,...