Computer Science @ University of St Andrews

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School of Computer Science Athena SWAN Charter

The UK Universities and Colleges Equality Challenge Unit has a mission to support institutions to build an inclusive culture that respects and values diversity and removes barriers to successful progression for students and staff. The ECU wishes to change unfair practices that disadvantage women, ethnic minorities and disabled.

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One of the ECU’s Equality initiatives is the Athena SWAN Charter which recognizes advancement of gender equality in UK Further and Higher Education institutes. Established in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter originally supported commitment to advancing women’s careers in the STEMM subject areas of science, techology, engineering, maths and medicine. This year it has been expanded to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.

The ECU has four key principles: Illuminate, Articulate, Champion and Transform. By following these principles the University of St Andrews has endeavoured for all its Science subjects to gain bronze level status from the three levels of awards (bronze, silver and gold). Computer Science members have already illuminated issues within the school such as the shortage of women at postgraduate and staff levels and, although this shortage is not unusual in all Schools of Computer Science in the UK, we wish to correct the imbalance through discussion and, more importantly, actions.

The University of St Andrews has been a member of the Athena SWAN charter since 2011; The Schools of Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics & Statistics and Psychology & Neuroscience have all gained awards. We in Computer Science are re-applying for an award in November 2016.

The current Self Assessment Team is co-chaired by Professor Ian Gent and Juliana Bowles. It includes staff and students from all parts of the school. Current members are the Head of School, Professor Steve Linton, the school student President, Mr Robin Nabel, postgraduate research representative Mr Adeola Fabola, and (in alphabetical order) Dr Ishbel Duncan, Dr Uta Hinrichs, Dr Ruth Letham, Dr Sandra Quickert, Professor Aaron Quigley, Ms Katja Schubert, and Mr Nicol Thomson. Also included are two members of staff from outwith the school, Mr Sukhi Bains (University Diversity Officer) and Professor Sharon Ashbrook (Professor of Chemistry).

A new staff survey is planned for September 2016, following up on the previous one in March 2014.