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  1. 1. same butdifferent: working effectively withstudent diversity 1
  2. 2. AcknowledgementsWe would like to thank HEFCE for providing the funding which made thisproject possible. We would also like to thank the Higher Education Academy(our principal partner in the project) and Coventry University for their support.We would also like to thank the external members of our Steering Group:Jenni Dyer (SKILL) and Jerome Williams (Equality Challenge Unit). We wouldalso like to thank Jane Osmond (Coventry University) for her initial researchon the project, and the staff and students at Coventry University who gavetheir time to be interviewed in the development phase of the project. Wewould like to thank those individuals who responded to our request forexamples of good practice and whose contributions are included in Section 2of the resource pack. We would also like to thank the actors and crew whoseprofessionalism has contributed to the successful realisation of the projectThe project teamSeptember 2006Note: all visual and written materials which form any part of the Same ButDifferent project may be copied for non-commercial educational purposes,provided that the original source is acknowledged. The film sketches and theworkbook can be accessed from the project’s further information on the project, please contact Jane Wynn( by the Centre for Media, Arts and Performance, Coventry School ofArt and Design, Coventry University 2
  3. 3. same but different: working effectivelywith student diversitycontents 0 introduction 4 [background] [our approach] [about the resource pack] [the audience for the resource pack] [how to use it] [the student diversity quiz] 1 scene descriptions and questions for discussion 8 2 good practice examples 27 3 further resources 32 4 about the production 36 appendix – list of scenes and topics 38ISBN 1-84600-011-4 (978-1-84600-0119)© CeMAP and Coventry University, 2006 3
  4. 4. 0 introductionThe same but different resource pack has been developed by CoventryUniversity in collaboration with Coventry University Students’ Union and theHigher Education Academy, and supported by SKILL and the EqualityChallenge Unit. It was made possible with a grant provided by HEFCEthrough the Leadership, Governance and Management Fund.backgroundThe last twenty years have seen a significant change in the composition of thestudent community in higher education and the contours of higher educationhave also changed as a result of widening participation initiatives, Acts suchas the RRAA, SENDA and more recent legislation relating to sexuality,religion, faith and age. However, whilst much energy has been put into therecruitment of ‘non-traditional’ students, rather less effort is made to developstrategies to support them during their academic careers. Although all HEIsare now required to devise and regularly review their Race Equality Schemesand their equality and diversity guidance, there is rather less attention given tohow staff actually manage sensitive issues in the seminar room or theirrelations with students.Whilst the introduction of each new piece of equality legislation provokes arash of staff training on compliance, it is how we act and behave towards ourstudents and manage their learning, not simply our knowledge of the law,which can affect the success or otherwise of their learning and our institutions.It is our ability to carefully uncover any needs which our disabled studentsmight have, which will determine their sense of being valued. It is ourcourage in challenging racist remarks which will encourage students to talkabout the anti-Islamic sentiments they encounter. It is in recognising our ownfeelings towards a gay student’s disclosure of his sexuality that will enable usand him to move his learning forward in a productive and meaningful way.same but different is intended to be used within a staff development context,where the content should provoke discussion about some of the issues raisedwhen working with a diverse student body. The resource pack differs fromother materials which exist around student diversity because we focus onattitudes, experiences, assumptions and behaviours (of staff and students)rather than individual and institutional compliance with legislation and equalitypolicies. It aims to raise awareness of some of the issues which studentsbring into the classroom and function as a start-point for wider discussionsaround diversity, control, power, culture and, most importantly, relationships.We hope that working with the materials contained within the resource packwill help support colleagues to support the learning experiences of a studentcommunity which is cross-cut by any number of variables such as gender, 4
  5. 5. ethnicity, disability, faith, nation, age, socio-economic background andsexuality.our approachThe approach we have taken in developing the materials is one which seeksto explore the context in which our students experience their lives outside theclassroom but where the reality of those lives necessarily impacts theirlearning and thus influences the success of our teaching. We hope thatcolleagues watching the film sketches will discuss how they have dealt (ormight deal) with the situations described (or similar situations). Or perhaps totalk through why some situations do not occur in their own HEI because theyhave policies in place which better support students from particular ethnic orsocio-economic backgrounds, or mature students, or students withdependents, and so on.Through a combination of discussion, individual activities and group work, wehope that colleagues using the materials will develop effective strategies towork with student diversity and manage the challenges which our studentsbring to the teaching and learning environment. Importantly, colleagues needto work out strategies which are relevant to their own particular HEI which iswhy we have not suggested ‘catch-all’ solutions, in recognition of the differentpolicies and practices and different student mix in different institutions.We do not believe that this pack has all the answers and we don’t provide anyhard and fast ‘solutions’. Instead, we believe that successful working withstudent diversity is mostly about the relationships we make with our students(and with each other) and the extent to which we can create an environment,as individuals, as colleagues, as departments and institutions, in whichteaching and learning is positive and productive.about the resource packThe content and context of the resource pack has been developed inconsultation and collaboration with the project steering group, students andstaff from Coventry University and from the wider student and academiccommunity in the UK. The pack comprises this booklet and DVD and issupported by the project website:,where a Word version of the booklet is available for downloading and tailoringto suit the needs of individual trainers and HEIs. We actively encouragecolleagues to use the materials in ways appropriate to their own trainingrequirements and HEI policies, including photocopying and duplicationmaterials provided the original source is credited.The DVD contains a series of 19 short film sketches which focus on variousaspects of student diversity, including cultural sensitivity, race, mentaldistress, gender, sexuality, older learners, care responsibilities and physicaldisability. All the films can be viewed with or without sub-titles. 5
  6. 6. The first part of this booklet describes each film sketch and includes asynopsis and some suggested questions for discussion for each scene.Because our intention in this pack is to stimulate discussion and creativethinking rather than a ‘how-to’ guide, the films (and the issues they address)should be seen as contributing to wider discussions around teaching andlearning, widening participation and working with non-traditional students,rather than ends in themselves. The booklet also includes examples of goodpractice (Section 2) and a list of useful additional resources around theequality and diversity agenda including websites (Section 3). The materialcontained in Section 2 is the result of requests for such examples which wemade via the Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network listserv. It is notmeant to be exhaustive and we welcome further good practice exampleswhich we will upload to the project website. Similarly, the resources includedin Section 3 comprise those known or passed on to us and again, we wouldwelcome further suggestions for resources which we could include on thewebsite. The project, then, has a life beyond the distribution of the resourcepack, so thoughts on additional resources which can be added to the websiteare very welcome.the audience for the resource packThe pack can be used with all staff who work with students, includingcolleagues working in academic, administrative, support and technical areas.We hope that participants using the pack will reflect on the relevance of thecontent to their own HEI and consider what, if any, changes they could makein order to encourage better teaching and learning outcomes for the diversestudent community with whom most of us to use itThe primary aim of the pack is to provide sometimes provocative start pointsfor discussion, exploring a range of issues which regularly occur in the lives ofstudents which we, as staff, need to recognise, understand and, wherenecessary, act upon. We believe that it will work most effectively as aresource for staff if used in a group learning environment, facilitated by anexperienced staff developer. The film sketches are meant to be self-containedin their primary focus but can also work as one of several sketches whichfollow a specific theme (such as working with international students, or theissues which face mature students), providing diversity of content andexample within a single learning session. The Appendix includes a list of allthe film sketches, together with a note of the key theme(s) explored in eachone, so that colleagues involved in staff development can devise their owntailor-made programmes, using any of the scenes which they deemappropriate for a particular topic, eg disability awareness, staff-studentrelationships, older learners, and so on. The DVD is constructed so that eachfilm exists independently of the others to enable users to go directly towhichever film sketch they require at any point during a staff developmentsession. 6
  7. 7. the student diversity quizHere are some sample questions that facilitators might want to ask to getparticipants thinking about equality and diversity issues in the context ofspecific institutions and specific contexts. 1. What does student diversity mean to you? 2. What does student diversity mean to your institution? 3. What does widening participation mean to you? 4. Does your HEI have an equality officer? 5. What do you know about your institution’s policy on widening participation? 6. How is widening participation actually promoted in your institution? 7. How do you think your institution compares with others in terms of its commitment to supporting student diversity and/or widening participation? 8. What strategies would provide better help and support to non- traditional students? 9. What aspect of widening participation does your institution do well? Examples? 7
  8. 8. 1 Scene descriptions and questions for discussionScene 1 Mind your language, revisitedKey players David (staff – tutor) Simon (staff - tutor)Synopsis David and Simon are in the staff room and David iscomplaining about what he considers to be a drop in standards in therecruitment of students who do not have English as their first language. Hemakes a number of overtly racist and stereotypical comments aboutinternational students in the context of language skills, dress codes, learningstyles, essay-writing and plagiarism. Although Simon doesn’t agree withDavid’s point of view, he doesn’t challenge him in any serious way.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. How common are David’s assumptions (amongst your own colleagues, other staff you know about, staff at other HEIs?) 3. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 4. What past experiences might have contributed to David making such comments? 5. How could Simon be supportive of David but also challenge him? 6. What kind of support services are available for international students at your HEI? 7. What, if any, issues have you had to deal with personally in relation to working with international students? How did you resolve them? 8. How, if at all, do you change your teaching style to take account of international students who take your courses? 9. If you were David’s line manager and overheard this conversation, what action would you take? 8
  9. 9. Scene 2 Gossip unzippedKey players Amy (student) Michelle (student) Josie (student) James (staff - tutor)Synopsis Amy and Josie are in the women’s lavatory gossipingabout James, a new member of staff to whom Amy has already given hertelephone number. One of their classmates, Michelle, is also in the lavatory,locked in a cubicle having just used a pregnancy test kit which shows positive.A flashback shows Michelle talking to James in his car, telling him that shethinks she might be pregnant. He gets angry, takes no responsibility and tellsMichelle that he doesn’t want a child ruining his life. Receiving no supportfrom James, she makes an appointment to see a helpline advisor.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. How is power being exercised? 3. How is teaching and learning being compromised, and for whom? 4. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 5. What is your HEI’s policy on student-staff relationships? 6. What are the problems with a member of staff having a relationship with a student? 7. You are James’ friend and see Amy pass her number to him. When she leaves, what advice would you give him? 8. You are Michelle’s personal tutor and she has told you that she is having an affair with a member of staff and she is now pregnant. How would you advise her? 9. You are James’ Head of Department. You receive an anonymous note in your pigeon-hole alleging James’ affair with Michelle. What do you do? 9
  10. 10. Scene 3 Staying in the closetKey players Raj (student) Martin (student)Synopsis Raj and Martin are discussing how Martin is settling in to hisnew room. Martin tells Raj that everything is fine, except that one of hishousemates is homophobic, so he has to be very careful not to reveal hissexuality. Consequently, when Martin’s partner visits, they pretend to just befriends.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. What is your HEI’s policy on bullying and harassment between students? 3. Does your HEI have a student counsellor who works specifically with LGBT students? 4. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 5. Does your HEI have an LGBT helpline for students/staff? 6. What problems might emerge as a result of Martin staying in the closet? 7. What is your HEI’s policy on homophobia? 8. You are Martin’s personal tutor and he has already disclosed his sexuality to you. He tells you he wants to transfer from his current accommodation because of the homophobia of one of his flatmates. What is your advice to him? 9. Raj is the student representative on the staff-student consultative committee and raises the problem of homophobia as a teaching and learning issue. As Head of Department, you receive the minutes of this meeting. What course of action might you take on this issue? 10
  11. 11. Scene 4 Disabling by defaultSynopsis This scene shows how easy it is to consider the different needsof students so that everyone benefits, in this case by having clear and easy-to-read slides, and avoids students with additional needs having to alwaysmake a special case for support.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. How do you check if any of your students have additional needs in terms of teaching and learning resources such as slides and handouts? 4. What, if any, adjustments have you made in your teaching to accommodate particular (additional) needs amongst your students? 5. Have you received any training on the latest disability legislation which now includes HEIs within its scope, ie SENDA? If yes, what did you learn from participating in such a training event? 6. Does your HEI have student counsellors who work specifically with disabled students? 7. What is your HEI’s policy on working with disabled students? 8. What, if any, contact have you had with your HEI’s Disability Office? 11
  12. 12. Scene 5 Long skirts and short trousersKey actors Sally (student) Tom (Sally’s husband) Michelle (Sally’s daughter) Chris (Sally’s son) Martin (staff – tutor) James (staff – tutor)Synopsis Sally is a mature student who has just started her first degree.She is having dinner with her family and talking about how she hasexperienced freshers’ week. She relates how the tutor taking her group forstudy skills (James) was extremely patronising and unsympathetic to theanxieties expressed by some of the mature students. Her family are verysupportive.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. What is your HEI’s policy on working with mature students? 4. What (if any) support structures exists for mature students? 5. From your experience, how (if at all) does the participation of mature students change classroom dynamics? 6. Does your HEI have student counsellors who work specifically with mature students? 7. As mature students, do women and men need different consideration in terms of teaching and learning styles? If yes, in what ways? 8. What (if any) problems have you had in working with mature students, and how did you resolve them? 9. How prevalent is James’ attitude in terms of differentiating between ‘academic’ and ‘pastoral’ support? 10. You coordinate the personal tutor programme in your department. What kinds of issues could you cover when inducting inexperienced staff into the role of the personal tutor? 12
  13. 13. Scene 6 The jobs-worth from hellKey players Jean (staff - frontline) John (staff - frontline) Jaz (student) Michelle (student)Synopsis Michelle is waiting to see a member of staff in theinternational office to help her complete the necessary paperwork to apply foran extension to her visa. The two members of staff who work in the IO areextremely unhelpful. Later, talking to a friend (Jaz), she decides to make acomplaint about their behaviour.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. If you were the Director of the International Office and witnessed this scene, what course of action would you take next? 4. Would the scene play differently if the student was, a) male; or b) white? If so, how and why? 5. What institutional structures exist to support international students? 6. If Michelle was one of your students, and related this incident, what would your advice be to her? 7. What support structures are provided for international students by your HEI’s Students’ Union? 13
  14. 14. Scene 7 Woman in a man’s worldKey players Michelle (student) Jaz (student) David (staff - tutor) Martin (staff - tutor)Synopsis A lab class is taking place and the one woman student in thegroup is being excluded from participating in the task by the rest of her (male)class and (perhaps unconsciously) by the male tutor. The male group look ata newspaper displaying a semi-naked female model. Later, Jaz talks to herfriend, complaining about her colleagues. When Michelle suggests that Jazmoves to an HEI which has a more ‘friendly’ policy towards women studyingnon-traditional (male) subjects, Jaz is interested. Later, her male tutor, Martin,tells his colleague that Jaz is having a hard time but makes no effort tosupport her. He confesses that he’s not very good with ‘personal stuff’’.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. How is power being played out in this scene? 3. How is teaching and learning being compromised? 4. What responsibility does Martin have towards Jaz? 5. Could the situation which Jaz faces in the lab take place in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, how could it be improved for Jaz? Who is responsible for making that happen? 6. You are Martin’s Head of Department and happen to be passing the lab and observe Jaz being ignored by the rest of her group and also notice that Martin is joining in with the male students in looking at the newspaper featuring a semi-naked woman. What do you do? 7. What support does your HEI provide for students who are in a visible minority (eg women studying engineering, men studying nursing)? 8. You are an harassment adviser and overhear David and Martin’s conversation. What do you do? 14
  15. 15. Scene 8 RespectKey players Amy (student) John (staff - warden) Jean (staff - frontline)Synopsis Amy is a first year student living in halls. The door to the lavatoryin her room doesn’t shut properly and because of her disability, she is unableto pull it closed, so it has to stay open, thus denying privacy to the occupant.She has brought the problem to the attention of the warden on a number ofoccasions but he doesn’t see it as a priority. When he discusses Amy’s‘demands’ with his colleague, Jean, she suggests that Amy could make aclaim against him personally under the new disability legislation.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. How is power played out in this scene? 4. In what ways could John’s behaviour be construed as discriminatory? 5. You are the Head of Estates and you receive a complaint directly from Amy about both her toilet door problem and John’s attitude. What do you do? 6. You are Amy’s personal tutor and she tells you about the problems which she is experiencing. What do you do? 7. What is your HEI’s policy on working with disabled students? 8. What, if any, contact have you had with your HEI’s Disability Office? 15
  16. 16. Scene 9 Dealing with dyslexiaKey actors Elizabeth (staff - tutor) Martin (staff - tutor) Peter (student) Raj (student)Synopsis Elizabeth and Martin are having coffee and Martin tells Elizabeththat he recently had a meeting with a new MA student who told him that hewas dyslexic. Martin didn’t believe him, especially given that the student hadrecently graduated with a 2:1. Martin is clearly unsympathetic to students withadditional needs, and complains that he’ll have to do extra work in marking hisassignments or else drop his standards.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. How prevalent is Martin’s attitude amongst your own colleagues? 4. Have you ever worked with a dyslexic student? If yes, what adjustments (if any) did you make to their assignments or other activities, to take account of her or his dyslexia? 5. Is teaching and learning being compromised in this scene? If yes, whose and in what ways? 6. What is your HEI’s policy on dyslexic students? 7. How common do you think dyslexia is amongst students generally and in your HEI in particular? 8. Some people do not believe that dyslexia actually exists – what do you think gives rise to this view? 16
  17. 17. Scene 10 The work/life balance see-sawKey actors Sarah (mature student) David (Sarah’s husband) Jane (Sarah’s daughter) George (Head Teacher at Jane’s school) Jean (Head Teacher’s secretary)Synopsis George has asked Sarah to come in for a meeting about Jane’sprogress. He tells Sarah that Jane has become withdrawn and he’s worriedabout her, asking if home life is OK. Sarah gets very defensive and saysnothing is wrong. Flashback to Sarah and David arguing about the impact herreturn to university is having on him and their daughter, during which time theargument is punctuated by Jane rushing into the room and asking them tostop fighting.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. What strategies and/or support structures exist in your HEI for mature students with dependents? 4. What (if any) childcare facilities are available in your HEI for staff and students with children? 5. You are staffing an open day for potential students and an older man asks you about what problems he might face as a mature student who’s been away from formal education for more than 30 years. What do you say to him? 6. Have you seen the age profile of students change (ie a larger proportion of mature students) on courses you teach, over the past few years? If yes, how (if at all) has this shift changed your teaching style? 17
  18. 18. Scene 11 Hearing voices, telling liesSynopsis This is a non-narrative scene which explores issues of mentalhealth, in this case, hearing voices, and how students experience mentalillness.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Have you ever worked with a student experiencing mental distress? If yes, how did you support that person? If no, what concerns would you have about working with such a student? 3. What support structures exists in your HEI for students with mental health needs? 4. Is mental illness a disability? 5. Does your HEI employ counsellors who are trained to work with students experiencing mental distress? 6. One of your personal tutees discloses in a supervision meeting, that he feels unable to cope with the stress of completing all his assignments and asks how you can help him. How do you respond? 18
  19. 19. Scene 12 Man in a woman’s worldKey players Josie (student) Elizabeth (student) Surinder (student)Synopsis Three nursing students are having a break together andSurinder points to a news article about a male nursing student taking out acomplaint under the sex discrimination legislation. One of his colleaguesimmediately gets defensive and insists he is treated the same as everyoneelse. He gives several examples of what he considers to be the unequal (andsexist) treatment he has experienced.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. What reasons do you think underlie Josie’s hostility towards Surinder? 3. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for identifying if Surinder has a cause for complaint? 4. You are the course director for Surinder’s degree programme and one of his classmates tells you that she feels uncomfortable having a man as part of her group project team since the project is about developing a protocol for breast self-examination and she feels embarrassed to work with a man on the project. What do you do? 5. Is teaching and learning being compromised? If yes, for whom? 6. You are the placement advisor for the programme. The link tutor at the hospital where Surinder is on placement rings you to say she is unhappy about the quality of his work and wants him to leave. When questioned, she insists it has nothing to do with him being male although she says that some of the patients have complained about being observed by an Asian male student. What do you do? 19
  20. 20. Scene 13 Telling it like it isSynopsis This scene comprises a series of ‘talking heads’ who read outstudent responses from a recent LGBT survey carried out by the NUS in2005.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. What is your HEI’s policy on issues around sexuality? 3. Is homophobia included in your HEI’s policy on challenging inequality? 4. Does your HEI have student counsellors who work specifically with LGBT students? 5. One of your personal tutees discloses that she is being bullied by a male student because she’s lesbian. What advice can you offer her? 6. You are having lunch in the Students’ Union and overhear one of your colleagues making homophobic remarks about one of your students. What do you do? 20
  21. 21. Scene 14 Does he take sugar?Key actors Sarah (staff – disabilities advisor) Mark (student)Synopsis Mark is in Sarah’s office to make a complaint that there is nocondom machine in the ‘disabled’ lavatory. Sarah is new in post and is clearlyembarrassed about the complaint. She asks why he can’t get someone elseto buy them but Mark points out that it’s a point of principle, since condommachines are installed in the men’s lavatories everywhere else.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for resolving Mark’s complaint? 3. Does Sarah’s embarrassment in dealing with Mark’s complaint reflect the attitudes of some of your colleagues? What lies at the root of Sarah’s discomfort? 4. Are condom machines installed in the ‘disabled’ toilets in your HEI? 5. Does the lack of availability of condoms in the ‘disabled’ lavatory breach the new legislation relating to the rights of disabled students? 6. You are Sarah’s line manager and after this incident, Sarah comes to see you for advice. She knows that she dealt with the situation poorly and is seeking guidance. What do you say to her? 21
  22. 22. Scene 15 Running interferenceKey players Amy (student) Raj (student) Jaz (student) Surinder (student)Synopsis Jaz and Amy are talking in a corridor, when another student Raj,comes up to them. Raj says he’s going to tell Jaz’ father that she is dating awhite boyfriend. Some time later, in a lecture theatre, we see that Jaz hasbeen hit in the face and has a black eye.Points for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. How is power being played out in this scene? 3. Could this scene happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 4. What is your HEI’s policy on bullying and harassment between students? 5. Whose teaching and learning is being compromised, and in what way/s? 6. Do you consider this to be an issue best dealt with in the Asian community? If no, who else should be involved? 7. You are the tutor for this class and you see Jaz with a black eye. What do you do? 8. You are a student advisor and Jaz makes an appointment to see you, with a complaint that she is being harassed by one of her classmates. What is your advice? 22
  23. 23. Scene 16 Accessing the impossibleSynopsis This is a non-narrative scene which demonstrates the problemsof access which many disabled students face in the simple act of getting intobuildings. Here, a non-disabled person is attempting to climb up the outsideof a building in order to access the entrance. In the meantime, a woman witha guide-dog easily enters the building on the ground floor.Questions for discussion 1. Has your HEI undertaken an access audit specifically looking at access issues for disabled staff and students? 2. What are the implications of the new disability discrimination legislation on accessibility into buildings and classrooms on campus? 3. What, if any, adjustments have you made to the space(s) in which you teach, when you have worked with disabled students with physical disabilities? 23
  24. 24. Scene 17 Being the parent twice over: child and elder careKey actors Elizabeth (mature student) Harry (Elizabeth’s father)Synopsis Elizabeth is writing an essay at the kitchen table when her fathercalls from upstairs. Harry is recovering from a hip operation and is stayingwith Elizabeth during his convalescence. They have a chat and she returns toher essay. She then hears a heavy crash and rushes upstairs to find Harry ina heap on the floor, having tried to get up to go to the lavatory.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. Do you have students who have lives similar to the one lived by Elizabeth? If yes, what support have you (or your HEI) offered? 3. What support is available in your HEI to support students with dependents? 4. How likely is this scene to be played out between a son and his older father? Are there different issues associated with being a female or male carer with children and/or older parents? If yes, what are the differences? 5. From your experience, how likely is Elizabeth to complete her studies, given her home life? What are the reasons for your response? 24
  25. 25. Scene 18 Multicultural encountersKey players Jaz (student) Surinder (student)Synopsis This scene comprises a series of multicultural encounterswhich Jaz and Surinder have with other students and staff, which demonstrateboth the everyday nature of racism but also the ways in which culturalsensitivity can be shown, and cultural differences routinised.Questions for discussion 1. What do these encounters show us? 2. Could any of the negative encounters happen in your HEI? If no, why not? If yes, who is responsible for dealing with it? 3. You are Head of Security and a member of staff who witnessed the incident between Surinder and the security guards has just telephoned you to complain about their behaviour. What do you do? 4. Does your HEI provide culturally specific food for students (eg halal meat or kosher sandwiches)? 5. You are Surinder’s personal tutor and he describes this series of incidents and asks for your help. How would you advise him? 6. What provision does your HEI make for religious observance during term-time (eg prayer room, fasting)? 25
  26. 26. Scene 19 An everyday story of epilepsyKey actors Jean (staff – admissions officer) Josie (student)Synopsis Jean is interviewing Josie during an open day. Josie hasdisclosed her epilepsy on her application form and is waiting for Jean to rejecther. She is pleasantly surprised when Jean not only offers her a place butmakes it clear that creating a supportive environment where her epilepsy ismanaged, will be an integral part of her support structure.Questions for discussion 1. What is this scene about? 2. What is your HEI’s policy on students with epilepsy? 3. What, if any, support structures exist for students with epilepsy? 4. What experience have you had of working with a student with epilepsy? 5. What kinds of teaching and learning issues need to be considered when working with a student with epilepsy in the context of classroom activities? 6. You are Josie’s personal tutor and although she has told you about her epilepsy, she has asked you not to tell anyone else. How do you react? 26
  27. 27. 2 Good practice examplesThe Careers and Student Employment Department (CaSE)University of WestminsterCaSE is committed to embracing diversity and promoting equality and has developed anumber of initiatives in this area. For example, there is a dedicated diversity website calledFuSION which gives advice to students from a number of backgrounds. CaSE recognises thatsome students and graduates face potential barriers in their attempt to develop theircareers. These barriers take many forms including low confidence and lack of opportunities,but often centre around discrimination from employers on the basis of several factors, suchas age, race, disability, criminal record, sexual orientation, gender identity and overseasstatus. CaSE is seeking to help students tackle this inequality. The FuSION website has beendesigned to provide students with confidence-building, self-marketing and job-seekingstrategies as well as information on other sources of support to help them develop theircareers more effectively. CaSE also run a National Mentoring Scheme where home students ofBlack British, African, Caribbean and Asian descent are linked with professional managers orexecutives to gain support and experience. It provides an excellent opportunity for studentsto: improve their personal and professional skills; learn about career opportunities in specificareas and develop employability skills and confidence. A certificate is awarded to allparticipants on completion.Contact: Fehmeeda Riaze: Back the WallsSheffield Hallam UniversityThe WiTBE (Women in the Built Environment) project based at Sheffield Hallam Universityhas been successful in attracting funding to help South Yorkshire-based employers beat theskills shortage in the construction, property and built environment sectors. Alongside otherinitiatives, the WiTBE team has run a free 3-day course for women, supported by distancelearning, entitled “Moving back the walls”. This university-accredited course offers womencurrently employed in administrative or junior technical roles the opportunity to explorefurther career options in the construction, property and built environment sector. Thecourse is supported by the RICS and is closely tied with the new Home Inspectors initiative.“Moving back the walls” provides women with the opportunity to: • develop a range of skills and explore options for further study; • survey a real property and complete a defects and repairs report; • participate in a design workshop and develop an understanding of building regulations and relevant legislation.Contact: Denise Eatone: (Women in Technology Network)University of PlymouthIn 2006, WiTNet was set up to support women students studying on engineering, computingand maths courses. WiTNet is a student-led, staff-supported, peer network which offers one-to-one mentoring, social events and career development events. All women students haveautomatic membership, regardless of their level of study, so WiTNet spans Foundationcourses through to PhD. A combination of face-to-face meetings and email is used to putwomen students in touch with others who may have already completed their studies and can 27
  28. 28. share their experience of selecting modules, undertaking work placements, choosing anemployer and so on, as well as the more personal or gender-based issues that they may wishto discuss with other women students.Contact: Liz Hodgkinsone: LGBT students (and staff)Cardiff UniversityIn 2006, the university established a sexual orientation working group and joined theStonewall Diversity Champions Programme to help identify the work that it needed to do tosupport LGBT staff and students. During the year, the university worked to: develop anaction plan which included advertising a safe space to be open about sexuality using theStonewall logo; develop a mechanism to enable a choice for students in residences to behoused with other LGBT students; ensure wardens in residences are trained in equality anddiversity including dealing with homophobic incidents and making sure that students knowabout that; create an LGBT student handbook; develop and promote a public seminar seriesfocussed on LGBT issues.Contact: Hannah Younge: your teaching inclusiveThe Open UniversityThis web-based resource has been developed by the HEFCE-funded CARS (CreatingAccessible Resources for Staff) project to support teaching staff in higher educationinstitutions in England and Wales to understand the needs of disabled students and toencourage effective teaching and learning. The website provides practical advice aboutteaching inclusively and will also help staff meet the requirements of the DisabilityDiscrimination Act. It will provide an insight into what study is like for disabled studentsand what staff can do to make a difference. The website will show how to enhance thelearning experience of your students; identify common barriers to learning and ways to findsolutions; and identify different types of learning support, including assistive technologiesand specialists. Staff are encouraged to adopt an anticipatory and proactive approach,recognise and meet the learning needs of individuals and thus create a learningenvironment that is inclusive by design. There are also resources that can be used for staffdevelopment.Weblink: Penny BurgoineE: women students in Science and Engineering (WiSETI)University of CambridgeA Cambridge University Initiative for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET)was established in March 1999, a development of the Secretary Generals Women in ScienceGroup set up in 1993, to consider strategies for increasing the representation of women inscience in the UniversityWeblink: Felicity Cookee: Resource BaseUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneThe Premia Resource Base is home to a range of awareness and development materials forresearch supervisors, managers, administrators, examiners, research and generic skills 28
  29. 29. trainers, disabled students and graduates, staff developers, non-disabled researchers,careers advisers and others. The aim of the materials is to make the research environmentmore accessible to disabled PGR students. They have been written by a team of projectofficers, academics and disabled research students. They have grown out of a HEFCE-funded disability project based at the University of Newcastle during which we carried outresearch to find out what the barriers and issues are for disabled postgraduate researchstudents across the UK and the staff who work with them. What all the students confirmedis that their postgraduate research experience is very different from their lives as disabledundergraduates. There is information, guidance on maximising research opportunities fordisabled students from pre-entry to completion, practical suggestions for removingbarriers, best practice, exercises on making reasonable adjustments and anticipatingrequirements from admissions and selection, induction and supervision to the viva andbeyond, all in the context of research activities and communities.Weblink: Pamela Grahame: scheme for Black and Minority Ethnic StudentsUniversity of NorthamptonThe University has for many years participated in a national ethnic minority undergraduatementoring scheme. This links students from ethnic minority backgrounds with professionalsfrom the world of work who are also trained Mentors. Training and introductory eventsprecede the start of the scheme in October/November each year. A minimum of monthlyMentor/Mentee (student) meetings are then expected to be held either at the mentor’sworkplace, or another convenient location between November and May. Student andMentor draw up an agreed Learning Contract setting out the objectives for the mentoringrelationship, and how they can be achieved. Efforts are made to match students to mentorsbased on certain criteria, namely, career area/course studied and gender. The mostimportant element is that student and mentor build a relationship which provides bothparties with development opportunities, regardless of course studied and business sector.Students can benefit by learning about career areas which they had not thought of before.Weblink: Paul Croftse: scheme for overseas students*University of WestminsterIn 2005-6, the Scholarships Department disbursed over £4 million in scholarships. Whilst£1.4 million is allocated to UK and EU undergraduates, most of the rest is targeted atinternational students from developing countries. In 2005-06, the university had 140scholarship students from over 45 countries. Although there are specific criteria forawarding scholarships, and benefactors are also encouraged to input into the decision-making process, most scholarships are awarded on grounds of academic excellence,financial need and development. This latter criterion means that the student, usually aninternational student, must argue (and prove) that the subject they wish to study will bringnecessary skills and knowledge to their community, country or region and they mustcommit to return home after the course is ended. Scholarships are available for a range ofacademic programmes from undergraduate to PhD and at different levels, from fullscholarship including air travel, accommodation and subsistence, to fee waiver only.Weblink: Jhumar Vedie:*Winner of the Times Higher Education Supplement Award 2005 for Outstanding Support forOverseas Students----------------------- 29
  30. 30. Enhancing student employability (Impact)University of Sheffield“Impact” is an enhanced programme designed to boost employment skills and increaseemployment opportunities. As part of the Aim>Higher initiative, it works not only withBlack British and other Minority Ethnic students, but also with mature and disabled studentsand those whose families have no previous experience of higher education. “Impact”participants can choose from or are guided towards, the following activities, many of whichare employer-led: specialist advice and confidential one-to-one support on job-searchstrategies; workshops on job hunting skills such as CV/letter writing, competency basedapplications, interview techniques, aptitude test practice and preparation and assessmentcentres; a mentoring scheme where students are matched to an appropriate employer;mock Interviews; access to and assistance with obtaining work experience; work shadowingand industrial/summer work placements; competency based workshops on skills such asteam building, networking, presentations and negotiating; student support groups andpersonal development activities.Contact: Lynne Healye: Impact Assessment ToolkitThe Open UniversityThe Equality Impact Assessment Toolkit was developed by the Equal Opportunities Office incollaboration with MSM Consultants Ltd in 2005 as part of the University’s commitment tosupporting policy stewards in meeting their equality responsibilities. In a large anddistributed organisation, it was felt important to create a resource that would stand aloneand not require extensive further reading to understand both the purpose and process ofequality impact assessment. The toolkit can be used for assessment of impact in relationto any aspect of equality (race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc). In the spirit ofsharing good practice and knowledge in this field, the Open University Equal OpportunitiesOffice and MSM Consultants Ltd have agreed to publish this toolkit externally through theOpen University website and other relevant equality websites.Weblink: Alan OSheae: & Diversity/One-World WeekUniversity of NorthamptonSince 2004, the University of Northampton has organised an Equality & Diversity/One-WorldWeek during October which aims to provide a specific focus for equality & diversity issuesat the beginning of the new academic year. The week has a common programme underthese two themes, and each event is organised by Schools and Departments across theuniversity. The kinds of activity which take place include demonstrations of accessibletechnologies available to disabled students organised by Student Support Services; theChaplaincy team have organised two lectures on "Hope for Africa" and "Faith inDevelopment"; the Equality & Diversity Unit organised a guest lecture by Trevor Phillips,Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality; and the School of Arts organised apoetry/musical evening featuring African Caribbean poetry.Contact: Paul Croftse: Counselling Service*Coventry UniversityStudent Counsellors are very aware of the ways in which non-academic issues can seriouslyaffect student’s learning experience, but how talking in confidence with a professionally 30
  31. 31. trained counsellor can make a significant difference. The range of issues which studentsbring to counsellors include loneliness, depression, anxiety, panic, sexuality, eatingdisorders, bereavement, childhood sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress, assault, rape, anddependency on alcohol or drugs. In addition, counsellors help with academic-related issuessuch as exam phobia, fear of speaking to a group and inability to concentrate. Thecounselling team also provide workshops for staff which help them be more effective in thesupport they can provide to their own students. Amongst the staff developmentopportunities are sessions called Just Five Minutes which provide strategies on how tosupport students when both staff and students are under pressure. Sessions are alsoavailable on How to Survive as a Tutor and Help - What Next? which offer advice on dealing with students who may be in distress.Contact: the student counselling service on: (02476887323)*Coventry Universitys Counselling Service has recently received Service Accreditation from the BritishAssociation for Counselling and Psychotherapy.-----------------------------Please also see an earlier HEFCE-funded project which developed an online database ofgood practice examples relating to equality and diversity, with a focus on both studentsand staff – 31
  32. 32. 3 Further information and resourcesFurther informationWe set out below a list of organisations which provide further information about equalityand diversity issues. This list is indicative rather than exhaustive.Age PositiveA team working in the Department for Work and Pensions, responsible for strategy andpolicies for people making decisions about work and retirement. They use publications,research, press, events and awards initiatives to get the message across and to helpemployers respond to legislation which outlaws age discrimination in employment.Website: 020 7299 8757Address: Age Positive Team, Department for Work and Pensions, Room W8dMoorfoot, Sheffield, S1 4PQAssociation for University and College CounsellingWebsite: for Ethnicity and Racism StudiesFunded by the Department for Education and Skills, a team from the University of Leedshave produced an anti-racist and race equality toolkit using their own institution as a casestudy.Website: 0113 233 4410Address: Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, School of Sociology and Social Policy,University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JTCommission for Racial EqualitySet up in 1976 under the Race Relations Act, the CRE provides advice and legal help andcan investigate organisations that show evidence of racial discrimination.Website: 020 7939 0000Address: St Dunstan’s House, 201-211 Borough High St, London, SE1 1GZDepartment for Education and Skills (DfES)Website: 0870 000 2288Address: Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BTDisability Rights Commission (DRC)Established in April 2000, the DRC works to fight discrimination and offers advice andinformation to individuals.Website: 08457 622 633Address: FREEPOST MID02164, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HYEquality Challenge Unit (ECU)The Equality Challenge Unit promotes diversity and equality of opportunity for all who workor seek to work in higher education. The ECU works within the Equality ChallengeFramework agreed between the representative bodies (SCOP and Universities UK), the fourHE funding bodies and the HE trades unions. 32
  33. 33. Website: 020 7438 1010Address: 7th Floor, Queens House, 55/56 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJEquality DirectA website and telephone service for business managers seeking information on equalityissues.Website: 0845 600 3444Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)Set up in 1975, the EOC work towards eliminating sex discrimination and offers legal adviceand assistance to individuals.Website: 0845 601 5901Address: Arndale House, Arndale Centre, Manchester, M4 3EQGender Trust, TheOffers information and support to Transsexuals, Gender Dysphoric and Transgender people.The Trust is a registered charity established in 1990 and is unique in the areas of work itcovers.Website: 07000 790347Address: PO Box 3192, Brighton, BN1 3WRHigher Education Equal Opportunities Network (HEEON)This network exists to provide support, information, stimulation, validation,encouragement and sharing of good practice for those seeking to achieve and sustainequality of opportunity, diversity and widening participation in Higher Education, includingmatters relating to employment, career progression, student admission, retention andprogression, learning and teaching, research and enterprise.Website: Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)Promotes and funds high-quality cost-effective teaching and research in universities andcolleges in England.Website: 0117 931 7317Address: Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QDHome OfficeInformation available includes Home Office Bills currently before Parliament, recent Actsand additional related information, Statutory Instruments and research.Website: 020 7035 4848Address: Direct Communications Unit, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DFHUCS (Heads of University Counselling Services)Website: Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)Formerly the Higher Education Staff Development Assoc (HESDA), provides support andadvice on leadership, government and management for universities and HE colleges.Website: 020 7841 2800Address: 88 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AA 33
  34. 34. NADO – National Association of Disability OfficersThe Professional Association for Disability and Support Staff in UK Further and of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA)The OIA provides an independent scheme for the review of student complaints.Website: NowA business-led campaign organisation which encourages employers to develop an inclusiveculture for women in the workplace.Website: 02920 436912Address: 137 Shepherdess Walk, London, N1 7RQPress for ChangeA political lobbying and educational organisation which campaigns to achieve equal civilrights and liberties for all transgender people in the UK through legislation and socialchange.Website: Press for Change, BM Network, London, WC1N 3XXTel: 020 7404 6609Race for OpportunityRace for Opportunity (RfO) is a growing network of private and public sector organisations,working on race and diversity as part of a business agenda.Website: 020 7566 8661Address: Business in the Community, 137 Shepherdess Walk, London, N1 7RQRunnymede TrustFounded in 1968, Runnymede is the foremost UK-based independent ‘think tank’ onethnicity and cultural diversity. Their core mandate since inception has been to challengeracial discrimination, to influence anti-racist legislation and to promote a successful multi-ethnic Britain.Website: www.runnymedetrust.orgE-mail: info@runnymedetrust.orgTel: 020 7377 9222Address: Suite 106, The London Fruit and Wool Exchange, Brushfield Street, London, E1 6EPSkill: National Bureau for Students with DisabilitiesSkill promotes opportunities for young people and adults with any kind of disability inpost-16 education, training and employment across the UK.Website: 020 7450 0620Address: Chapter House, 18-20 Crucufix Lane, London, SE1 3JWStonewallIndependent lobby group that offers help, advice and information to lesbians, gay men,bisexual and transgender individuals.Website: 020 7881 9440Address: 46 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0EB 34
  35. 35. Sutton Trust, TheThe main objective of the Sutton Trust is to support innovative projects that provideeducational opportunities for young people from non-privileged backgrounds.Website: www.suttontrust.comUniversity and College UnionNew academic staff union, formed by the merger of the AUT and NATFHE.Website: FamiliesFormed by the joining of New Ways to Work and it’s sister charity Parents at Work, WorkingFamilies supports working parents and carers whilst also helping employers createworkplaces which encourage a work-life balance for everyone.Website: 020 7253 7243Address: 1-3 Berry Street, London, EC1V 0AAFurther resourcesWe set out below further information/weblinks which might be useful. This list is indicativerather than exhaustive.Guidance is provided by NIACE on legislation relating to age, ie Employment Equality (Age)Regulations 2006. NIACE (The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) whichcovers England and Wales, is a non-governmental organisation working for more anddifferent adult learners. and diversity in practice: A three-course package Student Experience Report 2006 (previous years also available), commissioned by UNITEin association with HEPI and conducted by and Learning Research Programme (promoting educational research andpromoting learning) are currently funding research projects in HE and 35
  36. 36. 4 About the projectProject teamSteve Dawkins – Coventry University (Project Team Member)Jenni Dyer – SKILL (Steering Committee Member)Sarah Lewis – Coventry University (Project Team Member)Ama Owuzuru – Coventry University Students Union (Project Team Member)Karen Ross – Coventry University (Project Leader)Liz Thomas – Higher Education Academy (Project Team Member)Jerome Williams – Equality Challenge Unit (Steering Committee Member)Jane Wynn – Coventry University (Project Administrator)Peter Woodbridge – Coventry University (Project Team Member)Film productionExecutive ProducerKaren RossDirectorsSteve DawkinsPeter WoodbridgeEditorPeter WoodbridgeCrewDom BreadmoreRoss VarneyJohn SimpsonSpencer JamesBradley PowellRick BaileyDavid FraserAshley HillsCastCharacter ActorJames David BennettDavid Aaron CassGeorge Jim ClossickJohn Robert ConnorSally Eva GrayJean Kate IzonMichelle Delecia JamesHarry Phil JonesElizabeth Karen Liese 36
  37. 37. Mark Ed LoweJosie Lauren NicoleSarah Denise PitterSteve Tom MillarChris Chris MunsonJane Robyn MunsonSurinder Raj ShiroleAmy Lola SonolaRaj Vimal StephensMartin Billy SyJaz Shefali VermaPeter Peter WoodbridgeSimon Marcos YoungExtrasLisa-Cay Dobinson and Harper (guide dog)Aisling CullenDavid FraserAdele WilliamsPete BaughanSophiaDesignWebb & Webb Design Europe 37
  38. 38. AppendixList of scenes and key topics1 Mind your language, revisitedKey topics a) (racial) stereotyping b) assumptions about international students c) students with English as an additional language d) unprofessional behaviour (staff)2 Gossip unzippedKey topics a) student-staff relationships b) student pregnancy c) power and control (staff to student)3 Staying in the closetKey topics a) student-to-student hostility b) homophobia4 Disabling by default (and how to get it right)Key topics a) lack of consideration about different learning needs b) good practice in disability awareness5 Long skirts and short trousersKey topics a) mature students and young(er) tutors b) work-life balance for mature students c) pastoral vs. academic support6 The jobs-worth from hellKey topics a) staff-student interactions (front line staff) b) cultural insensitivity c) racism7 Woman in a man’s worldKey topics a) student-to-student hostility b) sexism c) lack of staff support d) unprofessional behaviour (staff)8 RespectKey topics a) lack of staff support b) disability discrimination c) loss of dignity and/or respect 38
  39. 39. 9 Dealing with dyslexiaKey topics a) staff-student relationship (negative) b) disbelieving dyslexia c) making adjustments for students with additional needs.10 The work/life balance see-sawKey topics a) mature students and work-life balance b) empathy (lack of)11 Hearing voices, telling liesKey topic the experience of mental distress (hearing voices)12 Man in a woman’s worldKey topics a) student-to-student hostility b) sexism (women to men) c) racism13 Telling it like it isKey topic LGBT students telling their experiences (homophobia)14 Does he take sugar?Key topics a) assumptions about disabled people b) loss of dignity and/or respect c) poor support from specialist staff15 Running interferenceKey topics a) student-to-student hostility (sexism) b) student-to-student hostility (racism) c) bullying and harassment (student-on-student) d) intra-cultural conflict16 Accessing the impossibleKey topic access to buildings by people with additional (mobility) needs.17 Being the parent twice over: child and elder careKey topics a) combining caring with studying b) real lives into the classroom (work-life balance)18 Multicultural encountersKey topics a) racism (student-to-student) b) racism (front line staff to student) c) cultural sensitivity (positive)19 An everyday story of epilepsyKey topics a) dealing sensitively with epilepsy b) staff-student relationship (positive) 39