Monday, May 17, 2021

I am delighted to announce the launch of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (EDI in HE) programme today on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The EDI in HE is the successor programme to the original LEAD (Living Equality and Diversity Programme) programme developed by the IUA Equality Network in 2012, and it represents a continuation of the blended approach to generating mainstream staff conversation and engagement with equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights issues in all our institutions.

Watch Minister Simon Harris, Dr Marie Connolly and Dr Caroline Murphy give their reaction to the launch of the EDI in HE programme here

The purpose of the EDI in HE e-learning programme is:

  • to raise awareness of how equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights issues permeate organisational culture, and
  • to understand what third level education staff duties are under Irish equality and human rights legislation

This programme will complement other EDI institutional training offerings such as our Unconscious Bias Training E-Learning Modules | UL - University of Limerick, our Dignity & Respect Training Dignity and Respect - Online Training | UL - University of Limerick, as well as further sector-wide collaborative online initiatives such as the pending on-line Race Equality awareness programme which will launch before summer 2021.

A range of specialist EDI practitioners from across the sector engaged with a leading international EDI eLearning company, Marshall’s eLearning, to develop the EDI training and awareness programme for staff in the Irish HE sector. The programme has been tailored to the needs of our sector, including the Irish legal context, and then further adapted at institutional level to reflect each institution’s policies/services re EDI.

The Programme has been funded by institutional contributions, with part funding provided by the HEA through the Athena SWAN Capacity Fund. External agencies including the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), The National Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), Pavee Point, AsIam, and LGBT Ireland, have also provided expert guidance on the programme content.

Programme Structure

The Programme consists of 4 separate modules, each of 30-45 minutes duration, which can be completed either as an entire programme, or as a series of modules allowing participants to build up their knowledge over time.

Module 1 an introductory module, gives you a comprehensive overview of the importance and benefits of EDI and Human Rights, and the legal landscape in which Higher Education Institutions operate. 

Module 2 covers Recruitment and Selection, and is a very informative tool for any staff member involved in the selection process.

Module 3 looks at meeting the needs of diverse students and best practice tips on fostering equality in teaching and learning settings. 

Module 4 which looks at putting policy into practice.

I would like to strongly encourage all staff to undertake the EDI in HE programme which can be done at a time and pace that suits the user. The University may also prioritise completion of specific modules for specific target groups.

Given the rapid pace of technological change since the launch of the original LEAD programme, full digital accessibility options are used throughout the module, with learners being able to access the material online, or via workbook or an audio podcast.

It has also been a key objective of the programme design that the programme strikes a balance between covering fundamental and basic issues while recognising varying levels of expertise and understanding of participants, and the diverse social groups discussed in the programme. On this basis, while the key focus of the programme is awareness raising, there are references within the programme to further resources which users can explore as desired.

The programme is available on

For further information please contact the office of the Director Human Rights: EDI@UL.IE

Kind regards,

Professor Kerstin Mey
Uachtarán / President
Oifig an Uachtaráin / Office of the President