One of the core values of the University of Iceland, stated in it’s 2011-2016 policy, is an emphasis on democratic practices, ensuring that equality is reached at all levels. The Equal Rights Committee of UI oversees equality in a broad sense and, as stated by article 65 of the constitution of Iceland, is to have gender equality at the forefront of its work.
Each of the 5 schools within UI have Equal Rights Committees, their chairpersons make up the central Equal Rights Committee of UI, along with a student representative and a chairperson appointed by the rector. The current Equal Rights Committee members appointed from 2014-2017 are:
The Role of the Equal Rights Committee
The Equal Rights Committee works in an advisory capacity to the University Council on equality and diversity related issues. This means that the committee is to provide advice which promotes equality and combats discrimination on the grounds of gender, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, gender identity, origin, ethnicity, religion and any other identities/characteristics. The goal is to reach gender equality with regards to teaching, research and administration, that the voices of minorities are heard and that all people enjoy the same access and opportunities at university.
The Equal Rights Committee is to:
- Regularly reevaluate the Equal Rights Policy of UI in collaboration with the rector and University Council.
- Make sure that the Equal Rights Policy is followed, in collaboration with the Equal Opportunities Officer.
- Ensure that all schools, organisations and administrations within the university have an up to date Equal Rights Policy.
- Promote equality related discussions and education within the university.
- Advise the rector and University Council on equality issues and provide feedback on matters that the rector and council direct to the committee.
- Ensure that non-Icelandic speaking students and staff have access to information and opportunities within UI.
- Work with the Council for Disability Rights.
The Equal Rights Committee is to meet regularly and the chairperson is to inform the rector of the work being done. The chairperson is also to annually inform the University Council on the status of equality work within the University of Iceland.