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Student Services Nicola Peacock Susannah Doyle Student Services January 2012 Engaging a diverse student population in a student facing role.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Services Nicola Peacock Susannah Doyle Student Services January 2012 Engaging a diverse student population in a student facing role."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Services Nicola Peacock Susannah Doyle Student Services January 2012 Engaging a diverse student population in a student facing role

2 Student Services Learning objectives to have learned more about your own attitudes to the culturally different to have an increased awareness of some of the issues faced by a diversity of students and their perspective on student life to have explored ways of communicating to improve engagement Improved confidence

3 Student Services We wish to focus on the practicalities of engagement. We DO NOT intend to explore: Moral, ethical or legal debates around why any adjustments are made for international or disabled students at all Cultural theory and debates about conceptualising the other University recruitment policies – the cultural mix

4 Student Services Who are we talking about? Me You ….potentially anybody who we perceive as being culturally different to ourselves, to include disability, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, religion Today – international students and students with a disability

5 Student Services Mindfulness or Mindfullness?

6 Student Services In pairs How did it feel to really observe others? How easy was it to identify your thoughts or judgements about others? Can you think of a situation in which you made a judgement or assumption about someone that was not helpful or turned out to be completely untrue?

7 Student Services Categorizing is a fundamental and natural human activity. It is the way we come to know the world. Any attempt to eliminate bias by attempting to eliminate the perception of differences is doomed to failure Langer (1989) Making assumptions,, Making assumptions

8 Student Services Mindful communication Taking a moment to notice the thoughts that are going through your mind Asking yourself, where is this thought coming from? Is this fact or fantasy? On what information am I basing my judgement? Creating the space to consider other perspectives, being able to empathise With conscious awareness, realising you have a choice to act in new ways (not react in old ways, automatically, unconsciously) Being curious about yourself and others

9 Student Services Barriers to communication Little Britain:

10 Student Services Research with UK and international students exploring barriers to integration The risks that UK students perceived in communicating with culturally different (international students) were; The risk of an unsatisfying interaction (language barriers, conversation more time consuming, more mentally challenging, more prone to misunderstanding) The risk of causing offence or political incorrectness – being seen as stupid or racist by peers The risk to academic performance (differences in work orientation and language barriers impacting group work) Peacock and Harrison (2009)

11 Student Services Discuss these three questions with a partner What does this human being have in common with me as another human being? How is this person different to or the same as me in terms of how I perceive their (and my) cultural upbringing? How is this individuals person unique? How am I unique? Who are you culturally speaking?

12 Student Services "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." Jung (psychoanalyst)

13 Student Services Summary so far Get to know yourself!! -what judgements and assumptions do you make about others? -what might stop you from communicating mindfully? who are you culturally speaking?

14 Student Services 1) How many students with Aspergers at UOB (numbers NOT %)? 2) How many students with a disclosed disability at UOB (numbers NOT %)? 3) How many students identify themselves as Black British at the University of Bath? 4) How many of us will suffer with a mental health issue in our lifetime in the UK? 5) What percentage of people in the UK are registered as being born with a disability? 6) How many (full time and part time) overseas (fee paying) international students are currently studying at the UOB? a) at PG level b) at UG level 7) What percentage of international (fee paying and EU) students are recorded as being of Chinese Nationality ? 8) Numbers of students with general psychological wellbeing issues who accessed the Health and Wellbeing Team Counselling Service at UOB in 2010/11 9) Numbers of international students (EU and overseas) accessing counselling? 10) What is the name of the online E+D training?

15 Student Services Equality Act Equality Act 2010 The following characteristics are protected characteristics age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation. Disability (1)A person (P) has a disability if (a)P has a physical or mental impairment, and (b)the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

16 Student Services Disability Trends Aspergers syndrome- increased numbers year on year Visually Impaired/blind students in lab based subjects Of the overall total of disclosed disabilities dyslexia makes up 63% Better diagnosis in school/FE- what that may mean for HEIs Better longer term outlook for medical conditions (CF for example)- what that may mean for HEIs

17 Student Services The Canary in the Coalmine (Carroll, 2004) Whatever affects our student population negatively is likely to affect students first and more intensely if: English is not a first language They are studying in an academic culture different to their own (rules are often implicit) They do not have established support networks close by They feel like an outsider, they are in a minority, they look different Social and cultural norms are different They do not have access to familiar sources of comfort (food, films, places, pastimes) The pressure to fulfil parental expectations are high They face bureaucratic (and often very stressful) demands related to their visa or funding They face illness, trauma or academic failure and have to negotiate the unfamiliarity of the NHS, University systems, engage with the police They need a guarantor enabling them to rent a house in the private sector

18 Student Services Summary so far… 2) Get to know something about the individuals and the groups you are working with -be aware of the dangers of stereotyping -be open to experiencing things from a different perspective -facts and figures -important issues -dont be afraid to ask questions

19 Student Services Have a look at the scenarios provided and consider the following questions (10 minutes): 1.What assumptions am I making about this student that may be helpful or unhelpful? 2.What do I know about people from this country? Who have this disability? Is this helpful or not helpful? 3.How do I feel in this situation? 4.What do my feelings say about me, who I am, what my values are? 5.What might be the barriers to communication here? 6.What might I do automatically without thinking? 7.What alternative ways of communicating might there be? You dont have to answer all the questions!!

20 Student Services To end.. Each table has 2 sets of post-its. Spend 5 minutes in your group sharing any interesting observations that have come out of your discussions. Write on separate post its. Write down any top tips for better communication. This could be about writing down a scenario or it could be about exploring the scenarios in pairs. * You might want to think about which questions you found it difficult to answer and why*

21 Student Services Top tips Listen and hear Take time Ask questions Dont assume Speak clearly but dont patronise (end each word) No slang! Or teach it! Speak to the person – not the disability, the carer Dont necessarily speak more loudly Be creative (drawing? Writing? Metaphor?) Admit failure, misunderstandings Check understanding (what are they going to do as a result of your interaction?) Consider different perspectives Empathise

22 Student Services Learning objectives to have learned more about your own attitudes to the culturally different to have an increased awareness of some of the issues faced by a diversity of students and their perspective on student life to have explored ways of communicating to improve engagement improved confidence

23 Student Services References: Carroll, J. and Ryan, J. (2005) Teaching International Students – Improving learning for all, Routledge, Oxon Langer, E. (1989) in Barker, V. (?) Mindful Communication in Cross- Cultural Organizations Sourced on 11/1/12 at Peacock, N. and Harrison, N. (2009) Interactions in the International Classroom in Internationalisation and Student Voice (2010) Jones, E. (Ed)


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