The Institution is one of six universities on the island to sign up to Athena Swan pilot project
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is one of six higher education institutions in Cyprus to have committed to advancing gender equality.
The Institution has signed up to a pilot project based on the Athena Swan Charter and funded by The Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA).
The Athena Swan Charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. UCLan Cyprus, Frederick University, University of Nicosia, Cyprus University of Technology, University of Cyprus and European University Cyprus will take part in the three-year pilot to co-develop a gender equality charter designed specifically for the higher education context on the third most populous island in the Mediterranean.
Professor Irene Polycarpou, Rector of UCLan Cyprus, said: “Advancing gender equality in Higher Education is among the priorities of UCLan Cyprus, as it is also reflected in the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion statement.
“As part of its efforts, the University is proud to be one of the first six Cypriot Universities to participate in the Athena Swan pilot project aiming to develop a gender equality framework based on the local needs and context, but at the same time, aligned with other international frameworks.
"Advancing gender equality in Higher Education is among the priorities of UCLan Cyprus, as it is also reflected in the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion statement"— Professor Irene Polycarpou, Rector of UCLan Cyprus
“We are thankful to the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA) for facilitating this effort. Being part of the Advance HE Athena Swan community presents a great opportunity for Cyprus; one that will allow the transformation of the local Higher Education gender equality practices across all frontiers, but most importantly, education and research."
Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE, said: “We help higher education organisations across the world to be the best they can be, by unlocking the potential of their people.
“The UK Athena Swan Charter was launched in 2005 and since then has played a pivotal role in promoting gender equality in higher education and research globally through partnerships in a growing number of countries including the Republic of Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada and India.
“We are now delighted to welcome these institutions in Cyprus to Advance HE membership and look forward to working with colleagues to progress gender quality in higher education and research on the island.”
"We are now delighted to welcome these institutions in Cyprus to Advance HE membership and look forward to working with colleagues to progress gender quality in higher education and research on the island"— Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE
Professor Mary Koutselini, President of CYQAA, said: “We are pleased to see this collaboration of the universities to promote gender equality in higher education programmes, research, activities, regulations, governance and administration, through the Athena Swan Charter, and to expand their existing procedures for equality and equity. It is important to emphasise that the initiative has a down-up origin as it involves universities’ decision makers and leaders in the field.
“CYQAA is proud to facilitate their involvement in the project and to work together for the fulfilment of participants’ equality aims and objectives, which are not externally imposed but will represent their real and differentiated needs.”
Athena Swan began in the UK in 2005 and was assessed as the only gender equality award scheme that is both successful and transferable by GENDER-NET, a largescale research project funded by the European Commission.
In 2015, the Charter expanded from science and technology to advance gender equality across all subject areas in HE and among all staff groups. The framework has since been adapted for use outside of Europe, with charter frameworks established in Australia (SAGE-Athena Swan), the USA (SEA-Change) and Canada (Dimensions).
Advance HE’s international charters aim to establish frameworks that are globally comparable and locally contextualised, working with governments, national and sector agencies, or professional bodies to establish tailored and impactful charter frameworks.