Supplementary written evidence submitted The Russell Group (WSC0101)

1.         How many of the universities you represent have signed up to the Athena SWAN charter and how many have an Athena SWAN award?

1.1          All Russell Group universities (with the exception of the London School of Economics and Political Science) are members of the Athena SWAN Charter. Nineteen Russell Group universities currently hold Bronze level awards and four hold Silver. Currently, all of the institutional level Silver award holders and all of the departmental level Gold award holders are in the Russell Group.

Gold award holders – departmental level:

Silver award holders – institutional:

1.2          At departmental level, Russell Group universities hold 66 Silver awards (out of 79 for the UK as whole). In the broad fields of health, medical, dental and biosciences, 32 departments, institutes or schools in the Russell Group hold Athena SWAN silver awards.

1.3          Note that the London School of Economics and Political Science is not an Athena SWAN charter member because it does not have a STEM focus. It is, however, actively engaged with the Equality Challenge Unit on the development of a wider gender equality charter mark.

2.         How many universities in the UK conduct equal pay audits of their staff? Are they published and where?

2.1          The Universities and Colleges Employers Association has undertaken research on this. A survey, case studies and a literature review are all available here:

2.2          Where universities have undertaken equal pay audits, the results are often made available on their websites.

3.         How much does it cost to train a researcher to post-doctoral level?

3.1          The Russell Group does not have this informationThe direct costs to the government are difficult to calculate accurately and will vary significantly between disciplines, institutions and even individual researchers.

3.2          But the costs do not fall solely on the state and public funders. Universities invest in a wide range of services, facilities and support functions which are essential to STEM students and postgraduate researchers. Undergraduate and postgraduate students also incur significant costs through contributions to tuition fees, living costs and foregone earnings during the period in question.

3.3          Most importantly postgraduate research students and post-doctoral researchers are not merely recipients of ‘training’. They are active researchers who make an essential and highly valuable contribution to the UK’s science base, to universities and to the economy.   It is therefore, not simply a question of costs, but of both costs and benefits.

4.         How many universities use exit interviews or questionnaires to determine the reasons why women leave academia?

4.1          The Russell Group does not collate or hold this information. However, we note that a number of our member universities provided this information in their submissions to the inquiry.

4.2          Universities may publish their HR policies on their websites. See for example UCL’s Exit Survey Policy online:

4.3          It may be that the Universities and Colleges Employers Association has some sector-wide insight into this practice.





November 2013