Equal opportunities and diversity: Religion, faith or belief

Oxford Brookes is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity for all staff and students and to providing an environment where respect is shown to all. We recognise that members of our community hold a variety of religious beliefs, including the absence of belief. We ask everyone to respect the beliefs and life choices of other people, even when they are very different from their own.

A team of chaplains, appointed in partnership with local churches, offer friendship and spiritual care to members of the university from Christian and other faith traditions. The chaplains have good links with local faith communities and student faith groups, and host regular events for staff and students to encourage the peaceful exploration of each other’s beliefs.

Facilities for worship include the ecumenical chaplaincy room in the Helena Kennedy Student Centre, Muslim Prayer Rooms at all campuses, a Chapel at Harcourt Hill, and a Roman Catholic chaplaincy at 62 London Road . A synagogue and mosque can be found within the city - see information on local faith communities.

Teaching staff and managers are asked to recognise student and staff needs for religious observance. Some faiths have set prayer times every day (e.g. 5 times for Muslims) while for other faiths times for religious observances or meditation may vary.  There may be times of the year (e.g. during Ramadan) when people increase their religious observance.  For some faiths, holy days begin at dusk the day before (e.g.Judaism) so observers may wish to be home by then.  The university will try to accommodate this, so far as is possible. For staff this might be through flexible working arrangements.

If staff wish to take annual leave for a religious festival or pilgrimage, we will try to accommodate that request, but please discuss this with your line manager well in advance.  We also recognise that bereavement customs and obligations vary, and may involve mourning rituals or need funerals to take place within a narrow time frame. 

Many faiths observe dietary restrictions for religious reasons (e.g. many Hindus are vegetarian, many Muslims avoid alcohol) and may have periods of fasting (e.g. Ramadan).  Staff and students are asked to be sensitive when arranging events, or providing refreshments.