Gender Programme

The ACU plays an active role in supporting the recruitment and retention of women in higher education leadership and management. We work with universities to promote gender equity as an integral institutional goal, and improve safety and access for students and staff.

Annual grants

  • ACU Gender Workshop Grants enable member universities to meet the costs of organising workshops promoting gender equity in higher education.

  • The Martha Farrell Memorial Fellowship is an ACU Titular Fellowship which provides training and support for the fellow to initiate an anti-sexual harassment initiative at their home university. The fellowship is open to those from Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore or Sri Lanka.


  • The ACU created and developed a wealth of free, user-friendly training materials, written by women in universities all over the Commonwealth. These carefully developed resource materials – divided into nine training modules – aim to promote and enhance leadership and management skills, as well as teaching the importance of gender equitable policies and practice. The training modules can be adopted or adapted for educational purposes anywhere in the world. Those working in university management, HR, or staff development may opt to use the materials as the basis of a comprehensive staff development programme, or may select particular modules to top up existing staff development programmes.

  • A series of reports was commissioned to review data from the 1998 and 2003 surveys of Commonwealth universities, which looked at the representation of women in higher education.