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Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective
Judith Foreman Introduction to the concept of valuing or managing diversity; and then link this to widening participation in higher education The language of ‘diversity’ has crept in to education . . . The concept of valuing or managing diversity has a very specific meaning and origin – not always captured in the general use of the term diversity. Origin of the valuing diversity perspective: a different national, social and political context.

2 What is ‘managing diversity’?
The concept of Managing Diversity embodies two key assumptions The heterogeneity and diversity of social groups - discrimination and disadvantage are, therefore, multifaceted Organisations can benefit from valuing difference and managing diversity effectively Both ideas have implications for organisational change and professional practice The term ‘Managing Diversity’ links the terms ‘diversity’ and the ‘business case’ and locates managing diversity within a distinc model of organisational change.

3 What is Managing Diversity?
MD is often defined by comparing it with Equal Opportunities approaches Some authors claim that MD represents a ‘paradigm’ shift in equal opportunities work Some see MD as an extension/development of EOP Comparing Equal Opps approaches and MD is a useful way of understanding some of the components of the MD/valuing difference persepctive. Hopefully you will also begin to see some relationship also to approaches to widening participation.

4 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – drivers for change
Externally driven Rests on moral and legal arguments Perceives EO as a cost Managing Diversity Internally driven Rests on ‘business case’ Perceives MD (Managing Diversity) as investment

5 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – degree of integration
Operational Concerned with process Externally imposed – low ‘buy-in’ Managing Diversity Strategic Concerned with outcomes Internalised by all

6 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – perception of difference
Difference perceived as other/problematical Deficit model Assimilation advocated Managing Diversity Difference perceived as asset/richness Celebrates difference Mainstream adaptation advocated

7 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – focus of action
Focus on group discrimination Group initiatives Supported by narrow positivist knowledge base Managing Diversity Focus on development for all individuals Universal initiatives Individual development Supported by wider pluralistic knowledge base

8 Different approaches to WP emerging from research
Academic Differential Provision Transformative Assimilation Group-focused (targeting) Peripheral and operational Externally driven Separation or compensation Pragmatic Mainstream adaptation Individual focused Central and strategic Externally and internally driven Synthesis of a typology created by Wilson & Iles with work by Jones and Thomas, Layer and Osborne.

9 Origins and application of MD to widening participation in HE
Private sector More recent application to public/not for profit sector Employment Generally not as well developed in relation to customer/client diversity – especially student diversity

10 ‘Business Case’ in HE Business case not an approach used in HE
WP driven by a range of factors Govt policy Funding Institutional mission – social justice Market position

11 Why a Business Case? Creates internal arguments for student diversity and WP based on benefits to institution HE Sector is partially ‘marketised’, so ‘business’ arguments apply HE sector is diverse, so not ‘one size fits all’ Organisational change Draws on a diversity paradigm that celebrates difference - this is key to how WP is defined so takes us down a particular route Internal, institutional level arguments missing but wanted - policy language Marketisation focuses concentration on business benefits Not providing a blueprint of a business case for WP and diversity but teasing out the component parts and suggesting how they might be built into a business case A business case is the first step towards creating organisational change

12 Elements of a Business Case
Potential benefits to the institution Potential costs, risks and barriers Differential impacts on different stakeholders Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Can the costs be met?

13 Organisational Change
External Drivers Internal Drivers Recruitment ‘Pool of Talent’ Improving T&L New markets Reputation (Access to funding) Legislation Funding and policy drivers Ethical drivers - Social justice Organisational Change Literature reveals a range of different potential drivers. Each driver represents a series of evidenced benefits to the institution, though some areas are more researched than others. They have the potential to feed into a model of organisational change to support the recruitment and retention of a more diverse student body Mission Commitment Corporate Social Responsibility

14 Potential benefits to institutions
Increased student numbers Tapping the pool of talent Improving teaching and learning Access to funding New roles and markets Complying with legislation Reputation Summary of the benefits

15 Group discussion activity
Which of the benefits would be most relevant to your institution(s)? How might these provide a rationale for further investment in managing student diversity? What would be the implications of this (costs, risks, barriers etc)

16 Costs and risks Additional cost of supporting the learning experience
Costs of low retention New course development (for new student markets) Academic standards Diverting funding from ‘core business’

17 Barriers Internal barriers context specific, e.g.
Other activities such as research being more highly valued Institutional history and perceptions held by prospective students (and some staff!) Fear of adverse effect on existing student cohorts External barriers, e.g. funding system

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