Ethics code

New University Ethics Code published

The University’s new Ethics Code is now available to read online. The Code – first published in May 2019 – was drafted by the Ethics Committee, a sub-committee of Council, and approved by both Senate and Council.

The Code applies to the University of Kent community – students, staff and members of Council – who are expected to adhere to, uphold and apply the Code during their day-to-day activities.

The Code aims to help community members make decisions where there are ethical implications. These are a common feature across all areas of University life – from staff members deciding whether to accept a gift from an external supplier, to behaviour and decisions taken during elections for student and staff committee posts. The Code also identifies how and where ethical concerns should be raised.

The Code has guidelines built around the following headings:

1 – Responsibility and accountability
2 – Integrity, honesty and transparency
3 – Academic freedom, critical thinking and intellectual creativity
4 – Equality, diversity and inclusivity
5 – Collegiality
6 – Sustainability
7 – Making a positive impact

Sarah Gibson, Chair of the University’s Ethics Committee and a lay member of the University’s Council, said: ‘We all face ethical decisions in our professional lives, and this Code provides a clear framework to help the University community identify and work through these issues. It demonstrates the University’s commitment to the highest standards of ethical behaviour in all aspects of university life.’

Membership of the Ethics Committee includes University representatives from the areas of research ethics and governance, fundraising, anti-bribery and corruption and international partnerships alongside lay members of Council and students.