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Towards an Inclusive Culture: Engaging Students in Institutional Enhancement Dr Helen May Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards an Inclusive Culture: Engaging Students in Institutional Enhancement Dr Helen May Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards an Inclusive Culture: Engaging Students in Institutional Enhancement Dr Helen May Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy

2 Overview The language of student engagement. The rationale for engaging with students. Strategies for engaging students. Towards an institutional culture. Concluding remarks.

3 The Language of Engagement What does student engagement mean to you? Reflect on these terms in widespread use: InvolvementConsultationParticipation PartnershipEngagement

4 Levels of Engagement ConsultationInvolvementParticipationPartnership Low High

5 Why promote student engagement? Legal responsibilities: to implement disability duties Value position: to uphold institutional values Business need: to increase/maintain student numbers Shared ownership: to build partnerships with students Quality enhancement: to reduce burden of retrofitting Student satisfaction: to improve students perceptions Retention and success: to enhance students achievement, progression and retention. May and Bryant, forthcoming

6 Risks of not engaging with students Institutional compliance /litigation Institutional reputation Student performance Student complaints Student retention Staff understanding and development Performance relative to other institutions May and Bryant, forthcoming

7 QAA Code of Practice: Disabled Students (2010) The revised code pays increased attention to student engagement. For example: Staff should seek to work with disabled students (staff development). The institution should seek to involve disabled students in the design and review of inclusive provision (curriculum design). Staff involved in the delivery of learning and teaching have a shared responsibility to support disabled students and should work in partnership with them, and with central services, to achieve this (learning and teaching).

8 Strategies for Engaging Students in Institutional Enhancement

9 Methods of Engaging Students Scoping /auditResearchEvents/campaignsStudent representationAction/working groupsTechnologyEmployment May and Bryant, forthcoming

10 Enhancing the effectiveness of methods used Consideration of : Context Timing Stage of involvement Shared responsibility Internal/external collaboration Ongoing opportunities Use of information Provision of: Opportunities to lead Incentivises Training Feedback and action Informed choice Tailored opportunities and information Resources May and Bryant, forthcoming

11 Towards an Inclusive Culture in HE

12 Institutional responses to inclusion….. Students are consulted or their views sought to fulfil a pre-defined purpose Students established as partners & agents for change in an ongoing enhancement process Modified provision Inclusive provision May and Bridger, 2010

13 Institutional Change Aiming for widespread use of inclusive practice Ensure a shared vision and inclusive philosophy Review & develop policy Embed equality impact assessments Changes to management processes (quality, performance, validation) Changes to induction Exploit existing change Individual Change Aiming to promote understanding & action Form advisory or working groups Work with influencers or advocates Continuing professional development Ongoing dialogue Dissemination of information and practice Conduct research Resources and materials From May and Bridger, 2010

14 Concluding Key Messages

15 Lessons learned….. 1. It is less important which method is used to engage with students and more important: in what context the method is used and how the method is implemented. May and Bryant, forthcoming

16 Contextual Factors Are there both informal & formal opportunities? Are these opportunities accessible for all students? Are there a range of strategies used? Are there opportunities for ongoing engagement? Are there opportunities at the planning stage? Are students provided with an appropriate level of information and opportunities to express an opinion, negotiate and make choices and decisions? Is it evident to students how information they impart is used? From May, 2008

17 At what stage(s) of the process are you engaging students? Establish Needs Scoping /preparation Planning/ design Implementation/ action Analysis /Reflection Dissemination Monitor /review

18 Lessons learned….. 2. Successful involvement requires institutions to consider the cultural, strategic & individual dimensions of their approach: Cultural: promoting proactive, whole institutional response & responsibility. Strategic: developing embedded, holistic & sustainable approaches. Individual: using reflective, inclusive practice. May and Bryant, forthcoming

19 Conclusions: Take a strategic approach Develop individuals practice Work towards cultural change May and Bryant, forthcoming

20 References QAA Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education. Section 3: Disabled students (2010) May, H. and Bryant, A. (forthcoming) Furthering the Involvement of Disabled Students in Higher Education. London: Equality Challenge Unit May, H and Bridger, K (2010) Developing and Embedding Inclusive Policy and Practice in Higher Education. York: Higher Education Academy May, H. (2008) Student engagement. Inclusive Practice e-bulletin series Higher Education Academy

21 For more information please contact: Dr Helen May Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy

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