The further and higher education institutions provisions of the Act

Advice and Guidance

Who is this page for?

  • Public sector

Which countries is it relevant to?

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This guidance deals with the further and higher education institutions provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which prohibit further and higher education institutions from discriminating against, harassing or victimising:

  • prospective students
  • students at the institution
  • in some limited circumstances former students (this is explained in more detail in Key concepts).

Further and higher education institutions may also have obligations under the Equality Act 2010 as employers, bodies which carry out public functions and service providers. These obligations are not covered in this guidance. This guidance is concerned with their obligations to students (and prospective students). Further and higher education institutions had obligations not to discriminate against people with a protected characteristic under previous equality legislation. As the Equality Act 2010 harmonises the previous equality legislation, much of what is required of further and higher education providers is already being carried out by them.

The main new provisions of the Act are:

  • new disability discrimination provisions:
  • indirect disability discrimination
  • discrimination arising from disability
  • new protected characteristics:
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • new positive action provisions.

Last updated: 19 Feb 2019

Further information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Phone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084

You can email using the contact form on the EASS website.

Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form.


Opening hours:

9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays

Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.