Progress has less to do with speed and more to do with direction.


This week I thought I would give an update on our “Challenge for Change” project. For those unfamiliar with the project, you can catch up on our introductory blog here. If you want to know more about the journey over first 12 months, you can read our case study on the ECU’s website

At the outset, we established a multi- disciplinary team. Current team members are:

Anna Hay, Head of Student Wellbeing

Amy Lilley- Stewart, Partnerships Placement Co-ordinator, School of Education

Alex Harris, BME Community Outreach Officer

Clare Peterson, Equality and Diversity Manager

Sarah White, Marketing and Partnerships Schools and Colleges Manager

Tracy Symonds, Senior Tutor, Senior Lecturer in Film

Adeela Shafi, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies

Natalie Morris, Careers Consultant

Tom Newman, SU Chief Executive Officer

Ellie McCulloch, Business Intelligence Analyst

Anna, Sarah, Alex and Amy are pictured above.

Each member led on particular intervention(s), related to their role. I thought I’d share our progress to date.

Focus Groups

One of the first actions, taken by colleagues in Student Services and the Employability Team, was to set up a series of focus groups with our students to hear their thoughts on life at the University. In a predominantly white community, both within and outside the University, they identified a need for more social events reflecting a broader range of cultures. They were keen to see greater diversity within the curriculum and amongst our staff, particularly academic. They also commented on the lack of black and ethnic minority role models, and expressed a need for student support staff to have a greater level of understanding of issues that they faced.

The SU are continuing to work with the students to develop more culturally diverse social events, and our Academic Development Unit is reviewing the content of our Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Practice (PGCAP) in light of their comments about the curriculum. We are actively working to achieve a more diverse workforce, but this will take time. To provide role models in the short term, the Employability Team and School of Media have strengthened the diversity of their guest speakers. Recent guests include Ade Adepitan, Bianca Miller-Cole and Matthew Morgan. Feedback from all students about the diversification of guest speakers has been overwhelmingly positive.

 Collaborative Event

Colleagues from the Outreach and Widening Participation team collaborated with several West Midlands universities to organise an event supporting African Caribbean young people’s journey into higher education. Unfortunately, due to staff changes amongst the partners, we will not been able to deliver this in the current academic year. We are hopeful though that we will be able to hold it in the 2018/19 academic year.

If you want to find out more about our work why don’t you follow us on Twitter.


Cait says:

Great to see we have a team dedicated to improving diversity at UoG.
Is the University committed to achieving an ECU equality award?
What measures are in place?
What is being done to communicate the ECU’s guidance on equality to students and teaching staff?
I’m an undergrad student at UoG.

cpeterson says:

Hi Cait. Thanks for your comment. At this stage the University is not currently working towards an Advance HE (formerly ECU) Charter Award. We have though started to make an annual submission to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and, in February this year, achieved Level 2 of the Disability Confident scheme.
Members of the Equality and Diversity Committee have been provided with access to the online hub of equality, diversity and inclusion resources along with a range of individuals and staff teams. I also raise awareness to them through the training that I deliver. As a member of Advance HE, all university staff and students are able to access their guidance. I can make information on how to register with the online hub available on both the Infonet and MyGlos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.