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Online Webinar: Part 2
Avoid photocopying the past: Re-designing HEIs to reduce inequitable outcomes for BAME students

This event took place on 6th October 2020 at 9:30am (08:30 GMT)

09:30 - 12:30 This event will be live streamed via MS Teams.

Following the success of our initial webinar held on Wednesday 15th July 2020, we are pleased to invite you to our follow-on event to share 4 further exciting presentations. The online webinar is being hosted by Access, Participation and Success at The Open University. 

The event will be opened by Professor Tim Blackman - Vice-Chancellor at the Open University, giving his reflections on how the Open University is working to address and reduce inequitable outcomes for BAME students.  There will be presentations (with Q&A) from 4 Higher Education Institutions (see below for further details) sharing experience of their work to date.  Time is allocated for interactive sessions to share views, experiences, ideas, challenges and hopefully solutions!  The event will take place using Microsoft Teams so please provide your correct email address as invites will be sent using this information.   

Presentations information and speakers:-     

1.  Anti-discriminatory, Anti-racist Attainment Policy:  Dr Tamsin Bowers-Brown - Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching and Head of Social Justice and Pedagogic Practice; Dan West - Policy and Research Lead, Social Mobility; Jo Astley - Evaluation and Evidence Manager, Social Mobility - University of Derby  

  • The University’s newly approved Attainment Policy takes a bold anti-discriminatory, anti-racist stance. It rejects deficit models and acknowledges that structural change is required to eliminate disparities in student outcomes. 
  • The policy, informed by an extensive literature review and consultation across a range of institutional committees and the Union of Students will be evaluated through the application of a mixed methods APP evaluation framework. Action is being taken through an extensive range of initiatives which extend beyond curriculum change. A pilot for curriculum design using the Advance HE student success frameworks has been evaluated and will be adapted to ensure decolonisation and diversification of the curriculum are part of all programme revalidation.

2. Enabling and Increasing Belonging and Success amongst the BAME Student Community in Hertfordshire Business School: Sara de Sousa, Students Success Lead, University of Hertfordshire 

  • Researchers at Hertfordshire Business School will outline a funded project undertaken in 2020 to better understand the BAME students’ experience of studying in the Business School, through the use of ‘Thinking Groups’. The first Thinking Group invited just BAME students to talk about their experiences, perceived barriers to success, relationships with fellow students and staff, sense of community and belonging and other sensitive issues impacting their learning.  A second Thinking Group followed two weeks later, where those students worked with academic staff to plan a way forward. Participants in this session will learn how to run a Thinking Group, and what recommendations came from this first round of the project. 

3. Is This the Real Life? Critical Perspectives on Whiteness: Anita Pilgrim, Lecturer and Consultant, The Open University 

  • This seminar presentation describes the development of the OpenLearn course on the race and ethnicity hub: Critical Perspectives on Whiteness (due to launch in October). Rather than developing agency for BAME staff and students, the course offers support for white staff and students in developing agency to consider whether they may be unconsciously re-instituting white privilege.  
  • I will consider why it might not have been possible to write this course before now. I argue there has been a shift in the zeitgeist and that we are better able now to look at race politics from the perspective of white privilege rather than the perspective of black and minority ethnic people as victims.  

4. â€‹Decolonizing and Diversifying The Curriculum - Wider Lessons for Truly Developing the Inclusivity Agenda: Jill Childs, Principal Lecturer/ Programme Lead Social Work and Wellbeing, Oxford Brookes University

  • This presentation discusses the development of a strategic initiative ‘Diversifying and Decolonising the Curriculum in Social Work’. Aligned with the conference themes of:
    • developing a sense of belonging
    • developing agency for BAME staff and students
  • ​My background of white privilege made me realise I had overestimated my understanding of issues of race and racism and the associated complexities of being a white leader in a diverse set of programmes. Because of this, I realise my lack of legitimate power to fully comprehend the problems and issues associated with the student group I serve has affected my leadership. This presentation focuses on the successes on that journey, the lessons learnt, and the work to do going forward. 
  • This presentation examines strategy, accompanying actions and practical solutions that helped to begin to put this challenging work into practice. It will help academics, senior leaders, and other interested people to gain an insight into our programme journey, and will provide all important practical solutions. 

The webcast was open to 10000 users