Equity, diversity and inclusion

Fellow vice-chancellors, we must lead the charge on equality

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 20/10/2021 - 09:01
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With COP26 on the horizon here in Scotland, the world’s attention is, quite rightly, fixed on the global climate emergency. However, it’s important we don’t take our eyes off another critical and urgent societal emergency – the pandemic of discrimination, in all its forms.

Standfirst
It’s incumbent on us all to ensure our universities offer inclusive and diverse settings in which anyone, regardless of their background, can flourish, says Craig Mahoney
Teaser
It’s incumbent on us all to ensure our universities offer inclusive and diverse settings in which anyone, regardless of their background, can flourish, says Craig Mahoney

Competing hierarchies of oppression: why is race a lower priority?

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 18/10/2021 - 09:01
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There is a plethora of evidence to demonstrate the persistence of structural, institutional and individual racism in higher education. Despite significant advances in policymaking, such as the Equality Act (2010) and an increasingly diverse student body, racial inequalities persist.

Standfirst
Gender is often given priority in HE because it’s seen as a universal concern that affects all women, but this ignores racism within gender equality work, says Kalwant Bhopal
Teaser
Gender is often given priority in HE because it’s seen as a universal concern that affects all women, but this ignores racism within gender equality work, says Kalwant Bhopal

Now is the time to design a system in which all learning counts

Submitted by dene.mullen on Tue, 12/10/2021 - 09:01
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Tara’s family never had much money, but her mother instilled in her a love of learning from a young age. Tara’s mum had grown up with dyslexia and little support. She wanted better for her bookworm daughter and stressed the importance of going to college. As a young adult, Tara worked full time in order to take affordable college courses online. But she struggled to balance work and family demands with the demands of college.

Standfirst
Our conventional, top-down approach fails to recognise that working adults often already possess many critical work skills, say Lisa McIntyre-Hite and Mackenzie Jackson
Teaser
Our conventional, top-down approach fails to recognise that working adults often already possess many critical work skills, say Lisa McIntyre-Hite and Mackenzie Jackson

UK universities have their heads in the sand on student addiction

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 09:01
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As professionals working in the field of addiction, we’re acutely aware that sufficient understanding and ongoing support with recovery is lacking in higher education settings.

Standfirst
Isolation and shame pose big risks to recovery from addiction problems, yet on-campus support programmes are rare in the UK, say Suzi Gage and Shahroo Izadi
Teaser
Isolation and shame pose big risks to recovery from addiction problems, yet on-campus support programmes are rare in the UK, say Suzi Gage and Shahroo Izadi

Equal research partnerships are a myth – but we can change that

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 09:01
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The idea of partnerships in research implies a shared pursuit of goals and interests. Usually, this is what draws researchers together and, without doubt, most of these partnerships are driven by an ambition for progress and development, be it personal, professional or of the institutions and communities with which we work.

Standfirst
The current movement for decolonising universities should also be applied to research ‘partnerships’ and their unequal balance of power, say Faith Mkwananzi and Melis Cin
Teaser
The current movement for decolonising universities should also be applied to research ‘partnerships’ and their unequal balance of power, say Faith Mkwananzi and Melis Cin

How AI and chatbots can deliver personalised career planning

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 04/10/2021 - 09:00
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A major challenge facing university careers services has always been how to deliver a service to all students without an army of staff allowing for one-to-one student engagement. Many have gone down the route of embedding employability in the curriculum (or extracting it) to make it structurally unavoidable and, while this approach supports the understanding and development of skills, it doesn’t guarantee that students will engage in personal career planning.

Standfirst
The development of careers chatbots could be considered a threat to guidance practitioners, but the reverse is true, says Caroline Tolond
Teaser
The development of careers chatbots could be considered a threat to guidance practitioners, but the reverse is true, says Caroline Tolond

There are so many reasons why EDI is not the answer

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 09:01
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Over the past two decades, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has become an increasingly important, and more recently a mandatory, consideration within universities. This has resulted in a rise in the number of initiatives, working groups, policies and reports. Yet despite the time and money spent, little progress is being made within our disciplines and our institutions.

So why does EDI, in its current form, enable oppressive practices and systems of injustice to persist? And how can universities break out of the cycle of performativity?

Standfirst
If we wish to transform our institutions, we must see EDI not as an end but as a tool to start recognising the power that feeds oppressive structures, says Manvir Grewal
Teaser
If we wish to transform our institutions, we must see EDI not as an end but as a tool to start recognising the power that feeds oppressive structures, says Manvir Grewal

On achieving equality, diversity and inclusion: challenging Islamophobia across higher education

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 09:00
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Racism is alive within British higher education. More than half of university staff reported experiencing diverse forms of exclusion because of their race, including Islamophobia, according to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) 2019 inquiry.

Standfirst
Ibtihal Ramadan explains why Islamophobia remains absent from many universities’ efforts to tackle racism and what steps can be taken to address the problem at an institutional and individual level
Teaser
Ibtihal Ramadan explains why Islamophobia remains absent from many universities’ efforts to tackle racism and what steps can be taken to address the problem at an institutional and individual level

There’s no room for complacency: act now to improve digital inclusion

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 29/09/2021 - 09:30
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Proficiency with technology is critical to living well in a global, networked society. Digitalisation will shape the future of work, requiring new skills and knowledge across all sectors. Technology has become essential to daily interactions needed for personal and community well-being.

Higher education plays a key role in preparing students for this digital world, whether they are school-leavers studying for their first degree or experienced professionals engaging in lifelong learning.

Standfirst
Sue Bennett outlines a call to action for academics and institutions to recognise inequalities in access to, and proficiency with, technology among students and to help extend digital inclusion to all

Teaser
Sue Bennett outlines a call to action for academics and institutions to recognise inequalities in access to, and proficiency with, technology among students and to help extend digital inclusion to all

It’s our duty to teach more inclusively − online, in person or hybrid

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 27/09/2021 - 09:01
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As we continue to navigate life with Covid, it’s clear that the pandemic has revealed existing systemic inequities in HE. In light of this, let’s consider what it means conceptually to teach in more equitable and inclusive ways. In doing so, we can support the success of historically underserved and marginalised students.

Standfirst
Students want to be seen, heard and valued, and there are many ways to include them while fostering equitable learning outcomes, says Flower Darby
Teaser
Students want to be seen, heard and valued, and there are many ways to include them while fostering equitable learning outcomes, says Flower Darby