Background Introduction

Background

The University Mission Statement has as one of its aims "to inculcate in all a respect for the traditions of higher education and a commitment to the values of truth, toleration and justice." This paper seeks to address the following aims:

  • The acknowledgement of diversity in matters of faith and spirituality among members of the University; .
  • The toleration of religious practice and belief on campus;
  • The encouragement of good practice among Chaplains and Religious Advisers;
  • The rejection of intolerance and extremism;
  • Compliance with the December 2003 legislation which makes it illegal to discriminate on grounds of religion or belief

Introduction

  1. The University respects the wide diversity of the student body and will endeavour to ensure that systems and practices do not conflict with cultural and religious beliefs.
  2. The University welcomes the variety of religious beliefs and practices among students as a positive enrichment of University life.
  3. Following the Race Relations Acts, and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the University recognises a common religion as one of the elements of ethnicity, which establishes a racial group.
  4. In its commitment to the toleration of religious practice and belief on campus, the University acknowledges and respects the place of humanists, agnostics and atheists within its community.
  5. The University has a duty of care for all its members. There is a particular duty of care for those who may be vulnerable to either direct or indirect harassment, pressure or intimidation. This includes the duty to protect students from aggressive, manipulative or covert forms of proselytism. All information about a faith group or its activities should contain overt information about its aims. The University's policies and procedures relating to equal opportunities, harassment and other issues also provide protection to students and staff in this regard.
  6. The University expects individuals and groups on campus to respect the freedom of others to express their convictions and religious beliefs in their own terms.
  7. The University is committed to preventing religious discrimination. It is also committed to the principles of free enquiry and free speech within the law.
  8. The University provides a multi-disciplinary environment, which encourages contact, encounter and conversation, and which embraces the critical exploration of questions concerning religion, secularism, belief and non-belief.