Queen's University Belfast has made significant progress towards fair job participation by Roman Catholics and Protestants over the past eight years, new statistics reveal.
The university's submission to the Fair Employment Commission shows that 31.1 per cent of Northern Ireland-born staff are Roman Catholic, and 68.9 per cent Protestant, compared with 20.7 per cent and 79.3 per cent in 1987.
The target is around 40 per cent Roman Catholic and 60 per cent Protestant. Harry McConnell, director of human resources, said fair participation had already been achieved among computer and research staff, in the college of legal, social and educational sciences and in the personnel office. Substantial change had been possible because of a large number of recent new appointments, he said.
"In the past five years, overall appointments to Queen's have been made at the rate of 42.4 per cent Roman Catholic and 57.6 per cent Protestant," he said.
"There is also clear evidence that application rates from each community are close to what might be expected, which supports the view that neither community recognises a significant chill factor at Queen's."
The report, which will underpin talks with the Fair Employment Commission, proposes affirmative action such as targeted advertising in areas where progress has been slowest, notably Roman Catholic under-representation among library and technical staff and in the estates and buildings office, and Protestant under-representation in the student union.