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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Higher Education (EDI in HE) online programme aims to  

  1. Raise awareness of how equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights issues permeate organisational culture, and
  2. Outline what third level education staff responsibilities are under Irish equality and human rights legislation.

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 Details

    Module 1 is an introductory module, providing 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 looks at putting policy into practice

  • Who is EDI in HE training for?

    All staff are invited to take the training, as we all have a part to play in making TUS a more equal and inclusive place.

    Staff on recruitment interview panels are particularly encouraged to complete module 2. 

    Academic staff are particularly encouraged to complete module 3. 

  • Accessing the training

    You can use your staff email account to access the training by clicking the link below


    EDI in Higher Education online training

First Responders to Disclosures of Sexual Violence

The logo for the Galway Rape Crisis Centre is shown here - it describes the organisation as giving "services for sexual trauma and abuse" - the colour scheme is light greens and cyan

First Responders to Disclosures of Sexual Violence
(14-15 June)

9:30 - 14:00

The Galway Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC) will facilitate online training for TUS staff on Responding to Disclosures on the 14th and 15th June. This training will generate awareness of the causes and effects of sexual violence, examine attitudes, values and beliefs about sexual violence, promote an understanding of dealing with a disclosure of sexual violence and provide information about the workings of GRCC and its range of services. This is a 2-part, participatory, online training from 9:30 - 14:00 across two mornings. If you are interested in attending, please follow the link below and complete the form:

Click Here to Register

Aurora Women's Leadership Programme

Aurora is a women-only leadership development programme provided by Advance HE. The EDI office in TUS funds a number of employees each year to participate in the programme and supports them with an accompanying mentorship programme. The TUS Aurora programme is targeted at women in academic, support and research roles in the University in order to enable leadership potential and provide an opportunity for growth and development.

The programme provides, in a social learning environment, core and adaptive leadership skills and knowledge over six interlinked days: four development days and two action learning set days. Participants are encouraged to access and use the online self-directed resources available to them.  Led by a team of leadership experts, participants will explore four key areas associated with leadership success: Identity, Impact and Voice; Power and Politics; Core Leadership Skills; Adaptive Leadership Skills. This is complemented by networking, role models, and guest speakers at each event.

  • Perspectives from previous TUS Aurora participants

    Name: June O Byrne Prior

    Position: Lecturer in Department of Sport, Leisure and Tourism

    “The whole programme was very beneficial; it was very well organised with lots of opportunity for deep reflection. I particularly liked the active learning sets – it was easy to speak openly and get insight into other roles. I have kept in contact with members of the active learning set that I was in and I’m sure we will continue to provide support to eachother.”


    Name: Dr Geraldine Cuskelly

    Position: Lecturer, Department of Sport and Health Sciences

    “The Aurora programme far exceeded my expectations and provided me with a protected space to really think about leadership. It is great that we can retain the material and can go back over it again in our own time. I had a wonderful mentor to support me in the programme. It’s important that the mentoring relationship is established from the start of the Aurora programme to get the most benefit from it.” 



    Name: Dympna Fitzgerald

    Position: Business Intelligence and Development Unit Manager

    "Aurora provided an opportunity to take time out from our day to day work and reflect on many themes relating to leadership. The speakers on the programme were excellent and prompted a lot of thought. The Action learning sets were particularly helpful and it was great to have linkages across different disciplines. I found the mentoring relationship very helpful and would love to see this rolled out further.”

    Why did you sign up to complete the Aurora Award?

    I was interested in developing my leadership skills further, bringing back learnings to my role and team. The pace of change in Higher education requires that we continue to keep up to speed with changing demands and challenges to ensure we respond appropriately and in a timely manner.

    How has the Aurora programme helped you in your career?

    I have acquired links to people, resources and networks that are most valuable. The networking side is a big plus - you meet and make connections with colleagues across the HEI sector nationally and Internationally. Some you will maintain these links with which is great.

    What would you say to someone who is interested in taking part in the Aurora programme?

    Put in your application! It is really important that we continue to develop personally and professionally and have the skillset and confidence to contribute effectively to the growth of TUS.



    Name: Dr. Martina Cleary

    Position: Lecturer in the Dept of Fine Art & Education

    Why did you sign up to complete the Aurora Award:

    I signed up for the Aurora Award as it was an attractive CPD opportunity. Also, as an artist, educator and researcher involved in several community, socially engaged, activist and feminist networking projects over the years, the fact it focusses on the advancement of women's career opportunities was of interest. 

    How has the Aurora programme helped you in your career?

    The greatest benefit of participating in the programme was meeting colleagues from diverse disciplines and roles within TUS and other Irish Universities. This included having the support of a fantastic mentor, who has provided insights, perspective and also advice both during and after the programme. Aurora was the foundation for branching out beyond my own field, finding new colleagues and friends, building a stronger support network for further opportunities and collaborations. 

    What would you say to someone who is interested in taking part in the Aurora programme?

    I would encourage anybody who is considering it to apply. The guest speaker line-up was engaging, and the workshops were timely in addressing shared issues often faced by female faculty and staff in third level institutions. It will hopefully also lead to the establishment of an alumni network to further develop a professional community for women in Irish universities.



    Name: Noreen Vaughan

    Position: Senior Technical Officer, Computer Services Department

    Why did you sign up to complete the Aurora Award?

    I was immediately interested in the Aurora programme when I saw the email about it. My hope was that it might help me challenge my beliefs about my own capabilities and perhaps figure out in what direction I could/should progress in my career. Despite my many years of experience, I had never felt very confident and I especially could never see myself progressing in any kind of leadership role.

    How has the Aurora programme helped you in your career?

    Since completing the programme I have applied for and was successful in getting a new role in the department. The Aurora programme and particularly the mentoring aspect was a big factor that influenced my decision to apply for the role and also supported me in the challenges I faced when I started in my new role. The programme also gave me the opportunity to meet colleagues from different areas of TUS and from higher education institutions around the country in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

    What would you say to someone who is interested in taking part in the Aurora programme?

    I would simply say if you are interested then go for it. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain!

  • 2022/23 Ireland Programme Dates

    The 2022/2023 Ireland programme dates are as follows:

    Aurora 2022 – 2023 Leadership Development Programme for Women

    Workshop/Cohort Development Day




    Online - zoom

    Tues 22nd November 2022

    Identity, Impact and Voice

    Online - zoom

    Tuesday 29th November 2022

    Core Leadership

    Online - zoom

    Tuesday 17th January 2023

    Action learning set 1

    Online - zoom

    Tuesday 28th February 2023

    Politics and Influence

    Online - zoom

    Tuesday 21st March 2023

    Adaptive Leadership

    Online - zoom

    Tuesday 18th April 2023

    Action Learning set 2

    Delegates self host

    Tuesday 9th May 2023

    Your Future in Higher Education

    In person - Dublin

    Wednesday 17th May 2023



  • Who can apply?

    The Aurora programme is open to the following:

    • Female academics up to and including Senior Lecturer level or equivalent,
    • Female administrative and technical staff up to comparable administrative grades
    • Female research staff.

    Applicants should be ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as an option for progression. 

  • Cost

    The Aurora programme fee and associated travel costs are funded by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Office at TUS.   

  • Application Process

    Applications are now closed for the 2022-23 programme.

  • Selection of participants

    To provide for equality of opportunity and transparent selection of participants, a sub-committee will assess the applications and select the successful participants based on the personal statements submitted.

    Applicants must be available to attend the workshops on all specified dates, including any internal workshops that may be offered to participants to enhance their experience of Aurora.

  • Further Reading

    The TUS Library has a bank of recommended books and articles for those interested in the Aurora Women's Leadership Programme. Please see the attached link to view the EDI collection on the library's website:

    EDI Books - Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Resources - Library Guides at The Library, TUS Midwest (


  • Further Queries

    For any further queries regarding this programme please contact