The Inclusive University

Equality and Diversity News from the Faculty of Arts, Cultural Industries and Education

Posted by Vicky Swinerd | 0 Comments

ACE Faculty has a high proportion of students with disabilities so it is essential that the design and delivery of curriculum is as inclusive as possible. In 2013, ACE rewrote the curriculum for all programmes in what was the Department of Creative Industries (now two Departments ‘School of Art and Design’ and ‘School of Film and Journalism’).  The University move to a 15/30 credit model presented the opportunity to anticipate and provide for a range of student learning needs; create curriculum designed to value the diversity of students and staff; and maintain high academic standards in a culture of understanding and respect.  We are now at the end of the second year of rolling out our creative arts, design and medial curricular and the programmes are performing well.

The Faculty works in partnership with a wide range of creative, cultural, education, civic and community partners - building opportunities for all our students to gain real-world experience of their chosen fields. These include work with publicly funded arts and cultural organisations in the city – through the Bristol Cultural Education Partnership – to develop a new model of education and training at Level 3 for students from diverse backgrounds which aims to address the ongoing and persistent issues of lack of diversity in the fields in which many of our students are going on to work, as well as in Higher Education in related subject areas nationally. This project is a partnership with Arts Council England, The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘Creative Skills Hub’ and NextGen Skills Academy – the sector skills council for the video games and animation sector.

The Faculty works to develop routes into employment for graduates which acknowledge some of the barriers identified in the ‘Entry Level Employment in Bristol’s Creative Industries Sector’ research undertaken by researchers in the Faculty – in partnership with Bristol City Council and Knowle West Media Centre in 2013/14. We have developed strong partnerships with organisations which can enable our students to access creative and cultural employment networks in the city-region; one example of this is the placement scheme that media and journalism students are able undertake at Ujima Radio CIC; additionally we are developing a wide range of in curriculum opportunities for students to gain experience of real-world projects and employment. These include working with the BBC on the city-wide ‘Bristol Food Connections’, during which our students work alongside media professionals as part of the festival’s social media team.

In support of Bristol’s European Green Capital Year, UWE ACE are leading a large-scale public engagement project ‘Bristol Parkhive,’ which is working with volunteer groups in every area of the city to support improved outcomes for the city’s parks and green spaces. Graduates have co-created an app with volunteers from communities in all areas of Bristol which was launched at the Festival of Nature in early June, and Students have worked with community volunteer groups in Lockleaze, St. Werburghs, Lawrence Weston, Horfield, Bedminster and Fishponds (amongst others!) on a wide range of projects, which will continue throughout 2015. Activities connected to the project have been included as part of the Children’s University initiative at UWE, and workshop activities have been delivered through an extensive community outreach programme – our most recent workshop day was with 200 children from the Malago Learning Partnership in South Bristol, using Manor Woods in Bishopsworth – which appears in the app – as a venue. The ‘Bristol Parkhive’ project has created a large number of paid graduate and undergraduate opportunities for our students, as well as enabling opportunities for students from FET, HAS and BBS – and opportunities for us to work in a more joined-up way cross-faculty; it has also enabled us to develop a model of working with communities across the city which we will be able to replicate post Green Capital Year to work on a range of other agendas which support improved civic outcomes into the future.

UWE's Education department has a series of long standing and wide ranging partnerships with schools across the south west and into South Wales and raising achievement is very important to our sense of mission and added value in excellence in teacher education.

We have a series of interventions built into our programmes that extend trainees’ experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level and which also offer exciting, enriching an developmental opportunities for schools. These range from Science, Maths and geography days or conferences, to primary and Secondary 'Blitz' days with several hundred school children visiting our museum quality exhibition, and taking part in active learning with trainees in period costume.

Whether it is making 'toys for refugees and bombed out families' in 1941, or trying wartime cookery we aim to make young people aware that university is for anyone who wants to do well and work hard.... And that it is tremendously rewarding!
We run the nationally recognised Building Reading Partners for the university! And make a significant impact on progress with our primary partners and trainees/ staff.

Later in the year we have Maths days, offer high level work experience, offer opportunities to the Virtual School and schoolgirl mothers unit at the Meriton centre, and also run a stunning medieval fare at Chepstow Castle: 23 different hands on activities, 550 participants, 65 trainees and staff in (mostly dubious) medieval costume, with eight historical characters to interview, period food to taste, armour to try on, trebuchets to fire, and a dozen gazebos, five medieval tents- including a string of STEMM activities including a visit to medieval apothecaries as well as help from FET with Master Masons and a bridge building activity.

Support for staff experiencing problems at work

Posted by Vicky Swinerd | 0 Comments

Contributed by Katie Lucking, co-chair of the Disabled Staff Network

The university is committed to providing an environment that is supportive and free of harassment, bullying and victimisation, by any person whether they are an employee, student or an external third party. All members of the university community have the right to expect respectful and professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave with respect and in a professional manner towards others.

We are aware however that some staff still experience difficulties with colleagues, bullying or harassment.

The Dignity at Work advisers offer confidential support to our staff who have been experiencing any of these issues. Please find out more about how Dignity at Work Advisers can support you and other support available for staff.

Support for disabled staff

Posted by Vicky Swinerd | 0 Comments
Contributed by Louise Davis, HR Advisor, HR.

The university has commenced a four-month pilot with an external organisation, Action on Disability and Work UK (ADWUK) to provide advice and support to staff, line managers and HR on disability-related matters.

ADWUK have experienced advisers who can provide advice on a range of issues including: reasonable adjustments, Access to Work and mental health.

Employees can be referred to the service via their line manager.

Please actively engage with the pilot:
Please contact HR on extension 85111 or if you have an employee that may benefit from this support.

A range of resources are in place to support staff and can be viewed on the support for disabled staff webpage.