Making a difference to society
Our values of professionalism, inclusiveness, integrity and community are at the heart of everything we do. We understand that what we do can have an impact on the wider community, which is why we take our social, economic and environmental responsibilities seriously.
We strive to ensure that everyone within the University is treated fairly, with dignity and respect; that the opportunities we provide are open to all; and that the University provides a safe, supportive and welcoming environment.
Equality and inclusion
As an international research-led University, Leeds strives to go beyond our legal duties to create a positive environment for our diverse community of staff and students.
The University works hard to promote gender equality and support the career development of talented women working in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, engineering and technology. The University renewed its Athena SWAN Bronze award in October 2016.
Leeds is committed to recruiting the brightest and best students regardless of background and our Reach for Excellence and Access to Leeds (A2L) programmes are key parts of our Access Agreement and Education Engagement Strategy. We have also developed an access strategy to recognise the needs of potential mature students.
Engaging with the community
Located close to the city centre, the University serves the community in a number of ways.
- over 2,000 of our students and many staff work as local volunteers with over 350 students helping in local schools
- residents and visitors to Leeds can access the Universitys facilities including the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery, the University of Leeds International Textiles Archive and the Michael Marks Building which houses the Marks and Spencer Company Archive
- members of the public can participate in events and workshops during the Universitys Festival of Arts and the Leeds Festival of Science which is coordinated by the University and partners across the city
We have developed a sustainability strategy focused on four core themes:
- developing knowledge and capacity
- being a positive partner in society
- enhancing our resource management
- developing a collaborative organisation
Processes are in place to ensure that sustainability is embedded in our decision making with social, environmental and economic impacts considered in our procurement process and in all of our major developments and investments.
We encourage our students to engage with sustainability through extra-curricular activities, and on campus we have developed our award winning partnership-based sustainable garden, linking edible planting, wildflower areas and research pods to create a space which is open to staff, students and the local community.
The Universitys research community is committed to adhering to high ethical standards and the Universitys values in order to ensure the integrity of our innovative and high quality research.
As supporters of the UUK Concordat to Support Research Integrity we are committed to:
- maintaining the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
- ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
- supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
- using transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
- working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly
The University of Leeds Research Ethics Policy and ethical review procedures seek to protect, as far as possible, all groups involved in research including participants, researchers, funders and the University of Leeds throughout the lifespan of the research.
Use of animals in research
The University of Leeds carries out research on animals to improve the health and welfare of human beings and animals, and to provide a better understanding of the animals themselves. It uses animals only when there are no alternatives, and is firmly committed to the replacement, reduction and refinement of the use of animals in research (the 'three Rs').
Research using animals is driving fundamental advances in understanding, treating and curing a range of health problems including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental illness, and continues to enable fundamental advances in our understanding of diseases.
The University will use alternatives to animals wherever possible, such as computer modelling, tissue culture, cell and molecular biology, and research with human subjects. But these cannot yet properly reproduce the complex biological characteristics of human beings and animals and nor can they replicate the study of wild animals in their natural environment.
All research involving animals is carried out to high standards of humane care and treatment within a strict framework of legal controls. Projects must also be approved by an ethical review committee, and researchers are trained in the ethical dimensions of their work and in standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation.
The University of Leeds has signed up to the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines. This is a 20-point checklist for researchers designed to improve the design, analysis and reporting of animal research.
Commitment to Fairtrade
We are proud to be a Fairtrade university and have been since 2005. Along with Leeds University Union we sell fairtrade foods in all shops and food outlets on campus and we're passionate about raising awareness of Fairtrade. The Fairtrade label guarantees a better deal for disadvantaged producers in the developing world.
See the values and responsibility section of the latest annual report for more about our values.