Skip to main content

South East Technological University (SETU) hosted over 130 higher education leaders, academics, researchers and practitioners at an inaugural Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) conference.

Equitas –EDI in Higher Education Conference took place at SETU’s Waterford campus over two days on 25 and 26 May.  

The aim of the conference was to contribute to the continuing development of EDI in higher education and to provide a platform for new and emerging research, policy, and action in the field.  

The conference theme was ‘policy into practice’ and it saw a wide range of presentations, exhibitions and workshops take place over the two days, along with keynotes from Mr David Bass, Director for equality, diversity and inclusion at Advance HE, and Dr Meabh Savage, the Vicky Phelan Chair for equality and access to education at SETU.  

A panel of industry and community EDI leaders also spoke about what higher education can learn from their sectors and they explored avenues for further collaboration in this space between the sectors.  

Speaking at launch, Dr Allison Kenneally, Vice President for EDI at SETU stated, “We are delighted to host this conference, the first of its kind in Irish higher education, in SETU. This conference serves to both highlight and celebrate the growth of EDI policy and practice across Irish higher education in recent years. It provides EDI academics, practitioners, and researchers a forum to disseminate and share their work, and to learn from others across the sector, and beyond.” 

Ms Ruth Beadle, Chair of SETU’s Governing Body’s EDI committee said in her role she sees first-hand the level of “collegiality, co-operation and mutual support” which exists amongst EDI offices and units across Ireland, and beyond.  

“This sets a strong foundation upon which we can all build. We were honoured here in SETU earlier this year to be named as European inclusive gender equality champions by the European Commission, and we want to use that award to continue to grow our EDI networks, collaborations and to share and to learn from best practice in the sector and beyond. This conference, we hope, has helped us all do just that, and on behalf of the university, I would like to thank you all for your contribution to that collective goal,” Ms Beadle said. 

The conference was supported by Advance Higher Education, and is now set to become an annual event, with Technological University of the Shannon hosting it in 2024.