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Policies and documents

Diversity monitoring

We have a duty to publish information about the diversity of our University community. This update was published on 1 April 2022.

To read more about our work to advance equality, diversity and inclusion, please visit the equality and diversity page. On that page you will also find information about how we monitor diversity data and the gender pay gap reports.

In line with the HESA Standard Rounding Methodology, numbers are rounded to the nearest 5. Percentages are provided for actual numbers and therefore do not align exactly with the numbers given.

Student data

This is an overview of the student population in 2020-21. It is broken down by age, disability, ethnicity, religion/belief, sex, sexual orientation and transgender status.

Promoting student diversity

Read more about our dedicated support and guidance for our diverse community. Our Access and Participation Plan sets out how we improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education.

Explanatory notes about data

Data relating to diversity profile, completion and degree attainment is from our 2020-2021 HESA Student return: HESA standard population. UK Higher Education sector data have been taken from Advance HE Statistical Reports 2021 with the exception of mature students which have been taken from HESA.

Application data is from our internal database for UK and EU applications to full time, undergraduate first-degree courses. Total applicants - 9875, Offers - 8810, Acceptances - 2060. 'Acceptances' are students who have accepted a place. We are not able to provide information about the diversity profile of students who are offered a place.

Completing the year is defined as making it to the end of the year, whether the student had successfully completed the year or not.

Non-completion includes students who withdrew, had their studies terminated by the university, or who suspended their studies during the year.

Student population 2020-21

1.1 Student profile
Student groupUKNon-UKTotal
All students 6635 945 7580
Undergraduate 5410 250 5655
Postgraduate taught 1035 685 1715
Postgraduate research 175 10 185
Student groupAll studentsUGPG taughtPG researchUKHE %
Mature 34.8% 14.8% 81.9% 88.6% 27.9%
Disabled 20.4% 23.3% 11.1% 20.0% 14.6%
BAME (UK) 6.8% 6.2% 9.6% 8.6% 25.3%
BAME (Non-UK) 80.0% 36.3% 95.9% 80.0%  
Female 62.9% 64.4% 58.4% 58.9% 57.0%
LGB+ 16.0% 16.9% 12.8% 13.7% 7.3%
With religion 39.0% 32.6% 37.9% 36.4% 44.4%
Transgender 1.0% - - - 1.4%

More detail about each protected characteristic is provided under the tabs below.

1.2 Disclosure rates
Student group2017/182018/192019/202020/21UKHE %
Religion/belief 94.2% 95.4% 95.3% 95.3% 88.1%
Sexual orientation 91.1% 91.4% 93.9% 87.0% 77.9%
Transgender 93.5% 96.0% 95.2% 99.2% 80.6%

Commentary: The gender identity disclosure rate continues to increase and is now near 100% while religion disclosure has remained the same. Although sexual orientation disclosure has dropped, all disclosure rates remain high compared to national disclosure rates.

2.1 Access (2021 entry)
 ApplicationsOffersAcceptancesPlaced applicants
Mature 14.3% 11.4% 18.9% 39.0%
Young 85.7% 88.6% 81.1% 21.0%
2.2 Participation (2020/21)
 Completion1st/2:1 degree
Mature 88.8% 81.3%
Young 91.4% 84.3%

34.8% of our students are mature; this is higher than the sector (27.9%). The degree awarding gap between mature and young students has narrowed.

We offer a mature learner induction day and have a dedicated contact for all mature learners at the university: Support for mature students

3.1 Disability groups
Disability descriptionHeadcount%
A long standing illness or health condition 120 7.8%
A mental health condition 575 37.1%
A physical impairment or mobility issues 35 2.1%
A social/communication impairment 95 6.3%
A specific learning difficulty 425 27.4%
Blind or a serious visual impairment 15 0.8%
Deaf or serious hearing impairment 45 2.8%
2 or more impairments and/or disabling conditions 115 7.4%
A disability, impairment or medical condition not listed 130 8.3%
3.2 Access (2021 entry)
 ApplicationsOffersAcceptancesPlaced applicants
Disabled 17.0% 17.0% 21.0% 28.0%
Non-disabled 83.0% 83.0% 79.0% 22.0%
3.3 Participation (2020/21)
 Completion1st/2:1 degree
Disabled 91.5% 87.3%
Non-disabled 89.3% 83.1%

Disabled students form 20.4% of our student body. This is higher than the national sector (15%) and the same as GuildHE. Disabled students were more likely than non-disabled students to complete their year and to be awarded a 1st or 2:1 degree.

We have a range of support available for students living with a disability, long term health condition, mental ill-health or a specific learning difficulty: Disability support and advice

Profile by ethnic group
Asian 160 2%
Black 95 1%
Mixed 170 3%
Other 30 0%
White 6165 93%
4.1 Access (2021 entry)
 ApplicationsOffersAcceptancesPlaced applicants
BAME 9.7% 9.3% 7.7% 19.0%
White 90.3% 90.7% 92.3% 24.0%
4.2 Participation (2020/21)
 Completion1st/2:1 degree


84.5% 76.5%
White 91.3% 85.8%
Non-UK domiciled students - profile by ethnic group
Asian 620 66%
Black 65 7%
Mixed 35 4%
Other 35 4%
White 190 20%

Our student body has a significant ethnicity imbalance. Data reveal disparities in completion and degree award between Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and white students, both UK and non-UK domiciled. The gap has narrowed and is well below the national average, however York St John is taking steps to close the gap further.

We are working towards our goal of becoming an anti-racist university and recognise that there is considerable work to do to ensure true equality of experience for all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and staff at York St John: Towards Race Equality

Data are presented in binary mode for men and women as the number of 'other' (third category) is too small to report.

5.1 Access (2021 entry)
 ApplicationsOffersAcceptancesPlaced applicants
Female 63.2% 62.9% 62.6% 23.0%
Male 36.8% 37.1% 37.4% 23.0%
5.2 Participation (2020/21)
GenderCompletion1st/2:1 degree
Female 91.7% 86.7%
Male 89.0% 78.5%

62.9% of our students are female – higher than the national sector (57.2%) and similar to GuildHE. The degree awarding gap between men and women has narrowed but further work is being planned. York St John has been awarded an Athena SWAN bronze award to advance gender equality. A dedicated team with student representation is overseeing the implementation of a plan of action: Advance HE Athena SWAN

Profile by religious group (including no religion and information refused)
Buddhist 45 1%
Christian 2030 27%
Hindu 405 5%
Jewish 15 0%
Muslim 265 4%
Sikh 20 0%
Spiritual 115 2%
Any other religion or belief 115 2%
No religion 4225 56%
Information refused 340 5%
Grand total 7580 100%

The religious diversity is slowly increasing. We welcome people of all religions or none in practical and spiritual ways: Religion and spirituality at York St John

Sexual orientationHeadcountPercentage
Bi 650 10%
Gay 130 2%
Lesbian 120 2%
Straight/heterosexual 5535 84%
Other 155 2%
 Completion1st/2:1 degree
LGB+ 89.4% 86.5%
Straight/heterosexual 91.5% 83.1%

The Lesbian, Gay, Bi + population is growing year-on-year. While the continuation gap is marginally lower, the degree awarding gap is in favour of LGB+ students. York St John has been named 5 times as one of the most inclusive organisations in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall: Stonewall diversity champion

8.1 Appeals

In 2020-21, we recorded 269 appeals (as of 26 November 2021), representing an increase of 70% over the previous year. A third of all appeals were submitted by BAME international postgraduate students studying in the UK, alongside a dozen international undergraduate students; most of these students were also BAME. 30 appeals were received from distance learners/students studying with international partners, of whom most were BAME, in line with the profile of this cohort. Of home students, under 8% of appeals were from BAME students, broadly matching their representation in the student body.

The appeals were divided fairly evenly between male and female students, with 51% and 49% of appeals respectively. Female students were more likely to have their appeals upheld, with 75% of female students being given a remedy compared to 61% of male students. This may be linked to female students often providing more evidence to support their appeals.

Data related to other protected characteristics are too low to publish.

8.2 Academic misconduct

273 academic misconduct referrals were received (26 November 2021), representing an increase of 148% over the previous year. Slightly more than half of academic misconduct cases related to male students (53%). Cases related to the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) international postgraduates studying on the London campus accounted for 60% of all referrals. Distance learners accounted for 9 cases; these were largely BAME students, in line with the profile of this cohort. Of the home students who were referred for academic misconduct, approximately 16% identified as Black, Asian and minority ethnic, suggesting that they are somewhat over-represented in this category.

Data related to other protected characteristics are too low to publish.

8.3 Complaints, discipline and Fitness to study/practise

Numbers are too low for there to be any equality data.

In 2021 we introduced a new Student Dignity and Respect policy which strengthens the University’s approach to promoting positive behaviours and tackling discrimination, harassment, racism and sexual misconduct. We have improved information on our website about raising concerns.

Staff data

This is an overview of our workforce profile according to protected characteristics. 

The statistics show the workforce profile in relation to age, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and transgender identity of staff at the university as of 1 November 2021. The total number of staff was 990 (rounded). We also provide information about recruitment from 1 August 2020 until 31 July 2021.

Workforce profile

1.1 Diversity profile
Diversity ProfileNumber%UKHE%
Female 580  58.9% 62.7% 
Male 405  41.1% 37.3% 
Disabled 90  8.8% 6.5% 
Non-disabled 865  87.5% 93.5% 
BAME 60  6.1% 12.6% 
White 875  88.8% 87.4% 
Religion - Christian 315  32.0% 21.8% 
Religion and belief - Other 65  6.6% 7.2% 
No religion 490 49.8% 29.9%
Heterosexual 770 78.3% 54.7%
LGB+ 70 6.8% 4.1%

More detail about each protected characteristic is provided under the tabs below.

1.2 Disclosure
Disability 96.3% 94.3%
Ethnicity 94.9% 92.2%
Religion 88.4% 58.9%
Sexual Orientation 86.2% 58.9%
Age bandsHeadcount%
Under 20 0 0.1%
20-29 150 15.2%
30-39 270 27.4%
40-49 255 25.8%
50-59 220 22.2%
60+ 90 9.3%
Job groups< 2020-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Academic 0.0% 1.5% 9.9% 11.8% 9.4% 3.4%
Professional and support 0.0% 12.6% 16.5% 12.3% 9.0% 2.8%
Ancillary 0.1% 1.1% 0.9% 1.7% 3.8% 3.0%
Grand Total 0.1% 15.2% 27.4% 25.8% 22.2% 9.3%

Note: Executive Board is included in 'professional and support staff'.


15.3% of our staff are aged below 30 and 9.3% are aged over 60 with a distribution of staff in between (30-39: 27.4%, 40-49: 25.8%, 50-59: 22.2%). This reflects the previous year's age range, although it has slightly aged. Nationally, approximately 16.5% of UK staff were aged 30 and under and 8.3% of staff were 61 and over (Advance HE 2021).

The majority of academic staff are in the age group between 30 years and 50 years, while the majority of administrative staff are between 20 and 40 years. The ancillary staff is ageing, with over half 50 years and up. We are increasing the number of employment opportunities that may attract younger applicants. This includes apprenticeships and graduate internships.

Disabled 90 8.8%
Non-disabled 865 87.5%
Unknown 35 3.7%
Disability descriptionNumber%
A long standing illness or health condition 25 26.4%
A mental health condition 20 25.3%
A physical impairment or mobility issues 0 2.3%
A social/communication impairment 0 1.1%
A specific learning difficulty 15 14.9%
Blind or a serious visual impairment 0 0.0%
Deaf or serious hearing impairment 10 9.1%
2 or more impairments and/or disabling conditions 10 8.0%
A disability, impairment or medical condition not listed 10 12.6%

8.8% of our staff declared a disability. A further 3.7% chose not to say. Nationally, 5.5% of staff declared a disability in 2019-20.

Of staff who identify as disabled, 26.4% have a long standing illness or health condition. Another 25.3% have a mental health condition. 14.9% have a specific learning disability such as dyslexia. 9.1% are deaf or have a serious hearing impairment. 12.6% have a disability, impairment or medical condition not listed.

We renewed the Disability Confident Employer accreditation in 2019 and remain a MINDFUL EMPLOYER which is due for renewal in October 2022. We are committed to improving policies and practices for staff living with impairment or health conditions: Supporting disabled staff and job applicants

Asian or Asian British 10 1.0%
Black or Black British 15 1.3%
Chinese 5 0.5%
Mixed 5 0.5%
White 875 88.8%
Other 30 2.7%
Unknown 50 5.1%

Our workforce has a significant ethnicity imbalance. 6.1% of all staff disclosed a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, a slight increase from the previous year (5.1%). 5.1% have not disclosed their ethnic background. 8.1% of our staff have a non-UK nationality (50% EU), of these 61.3% identify as White. Of UK staff with a known ethnic identity, 3.8% identified as BAME, amongst non-UK staff, this percentage is 32.5%.

Our key performance indicator is to retain a zero pay ethnicity pay gap. Currently we have a positive ethnicity pay gap in favour of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff, however we need to increase representation at senior level. York St John is committed to become a more diverse, anti-racist university and we are currently working towards the Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter bronze award.

Female 580 58.9%
Male 405 41.1%
Job groupFemaleMaleTotal
Academic 51.1% 48.9% 100%
Administration (including Executive Board) 66.7% 33.3% 100%
Ancillary 47.6% 52.4% 100%

The data are binary as in line with HESA requirements we ask about legal sex (the sex stated on birth certificate or passport). No member of staff have identified as ‘other’. Of the 985 staff employed by York St John University on 1 November 2021 58.9% were female. We also show the percentage of men and women working in each occupational group at the University.

At York St John we have a Key Performance Indicate to eliminate the gender pay gap (GPG) (2026 staging targets: 5% mean and median GPG). Gender Pay Gap report.

On 8 March 2022 we were conferred an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, and we are working to implement the plan of action. The action plan sets out a 5-year trajectory for our work to promote gender equality. Priority areas include developing women-friendly policies and supporting career progression via Research pathways. Athena SWAN

Religion or beliefNumber%
Buddhist 10 0.7%
Christian 315 32.0%
Hindu 5 0.6%
Jewish 5 0.3%
Muslim 5 0.6%
Sikh 0 0.2%
Spiritual 15 1.6%
Other religion or belief 25 2.5%
No religion 490 49.8%
Unknown 115 11.6%

There is diversity of religions and beliefs among our staff. The largest group are people identifying as having no religion, followed by people who identify as Christians (now 49.8% and 32% respectively). The total numbers of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh staff and those with 'other religion or belief' has slightly increased to 5.0% and is just below the national sector figure of 5.2%. At 87.4% the disclosure rate is almost twice as high as the national sector figure of 47.4%.

We offer a range of opportunities for faith practice and spiritual support for staff. As well as an ordained Anglican Chaplain, a team of voluntary faith advisers aims to address the needs of all staff. The Chaplaincy centre provides space for different faiths.

Religion and spirituality

Sexual orientationNumber%
Bi 35 3.4%
Gay 15 3.1%
Heterosexual 770 78.3%
Lesbian 0 0.2%
Other 10 1.1%
Unknown 135 13.8%

The majority of our staff identified as heterosexual (78.3%), with another 13.8% choosing not to disclose their sexual orientation. 7.9% of staff identified as lesbian, gay, bi or other, this is a slight increase to the previous year (7.7%) and higher than the national sector figure of 3.5%. The disclosure rate for York St John and national sector is 86.2% and 48% respectively.

Stonewall Diversity Champion

We started to monitor transgender identity of our staff on 1 January 2016. As of 1 November 2021, no staff had declared a transgender identity.

We are committed to providing a trans-inclusive environment and supporting trans individuals. Our trans inclusive framework ensures that any member of staff who identifies as trans is treated fairly at work and gets the support they need. We are very proud to be a Stonewall Top 20 Trans Employer 2020.

In the Athena SWAN submission we have discussed how we support trans people and set out actions for the next 5 years.

Athena SWAN Charter

Between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021, we had 3540 applicants (an increase of over 1065 from the previous year), of whom 630 were shortlisted and 355 were offered the role. Figures are provided in numbers rounded to the nearest 5. The columns 'applications', 'shortlisted' and 'offer accepted' show the ratio between groups in each category; 'shortlisted' excludes people who accepted an offer.

Total 3540 630 354
DisabilityApplicationsShortlistedOffer accepted
Disabled 7.4% 10.4% 10.2%
Non-disabled 88.2% 85.6% 85.9%
Not known 4.4% 4.0% 4.0%
EthnicityApplicationsShortlistedOffer accepted
BAME 20.9% 18.7% 11.3%
White 75.4% 78.5% 85.6%
Not known 3.7% 2.8% 3.1%
GenderApplicationsShortlistedOffer accepted
Female 58.7% 60.1% 68.6%
Male 40.3% 38.1% 29.7%
Other 0.8% 1.7% 0.0%
Not known 0.2% 0.0% 1.7%
Religion or beliefApplicationsShortlistedOffer accepted
Christian 28.9% 25.8% 25.7%
Any other religion or belief 13.5% 13.3% 10.5%
No religion 48.9% 52.7% 53.7%
Not known 8.8% 8.2% 10.2%
Sexual orientationApplicationsShortlistedOffer accepted
Heterosexual 77.1% 77.1% 76.3%
LGB 11.6% 12.3% 11.6%
Other 2.2% 1.7% 2.3%
Not known 9.1% 8.9% 9.9%

We collect diversity monitoring data on all applicants. We currently have a system in place of blind shortlisting: the personal data of the applicant is removed before shortlisting. Recruitment Panels are provided with unconscious bias guidance, including how to prevent bias, in their applicant pack prior to undertaking interviews.

We continue to review our practices to ensure we attract high quality applicants from diverse backgrounds.

The data shows that more women than men apply for positions at the university. This is then translated by an increase in the proportion of women being appointed. 58.7% of applicants and 68.6% of appointments are women.

We are committed to supporting disabled applicants and we are a Disability Confident Employer. We offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy. 7.4% of applicants disclosed an impairment or health condition. This has translated to 10.4% of shortlisted candidates and 10.2% of appointments (much increased from 3.8% last year).

We are attracting applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, with 20.9% of applicants from a BAME background. A smaller proportion of applicants are being converted to appointments with approximately 11.3% of appointments from BAME backgrounds.

In terms of religion and belief there is some diversity amongst applicants. The largest group of applications are from people stating, 'no religion' (48.9%). This then translates in to 53.7% of all appointments. A significant number of applicants (28.9%) identified themselves as Christian, 13.5% identifying with another religion, and 8.8% unknowns.

The majority of applicants identified as heterosexual (77.1%) with 9.1% choosing not to disclose their sexual orientation. 11.6% of applicants identified as lesbian, gay, bi or other and this translated into 11.6% of appointments.

We collect data about some of the protected characteristics of our employees who use the grievance procedures or subject to the discipline and capability procedures. Overall numbers are too low to publish any equality data.

The policies are available on the intranet.

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