Sometimes we simply need someone to be there
19th September 2018
This week I thought I would highlight some of the other activities that we will be delivering this term. From an equality and diversity perspective, our goal is quite simple: Create and embed a more inclusive culture. This aligns to the University’s vision to enable transformation, particularly for our students:
“We want each student, during their time at the University, to gain the skills, knowledge, insight and confidence to transform their lives for the better. We want each graduate to leave equipped to achieve their potential more fully and ready to pursue their ambitions more successfully, for the benefit of society, their families and themselves”.
Whilst we have yet to agree all our actions through the Equality and Diversity Committee, we have already made a start on some, and others we are continuing from last year.
An important area for us is student wellbeing. This work builds on previous years’, but with the addition of a Student Wellbeing Strategy, 2018-23. According to HEPI, 2018, students experience significantly lower levels of wellbeing than the national population. Data shows this trend is getting worse. It is therefore more important now, than ever, to create a framework for a whole University approach recognising, and addressing the issue.
The University has a strong history of supporting its students to be successful in terms of academic achievement and their wider student life. There is a real sense of pastoral care across the institution. Support is available from a number of services including accommodation and housing, the Chaplaincy Team, the Student Union, Helpzones, course administration, disability, mental health and wellbeing and personal tutors.
The Strategy pulls all this together, and sets out our ambitions for supporting the wellbeing of our students. It has a number of guiding principles, most notably that that the ultimate responsibility for wellbeing lies with the individual student. Our role is to enable them to access opportunities for help and assistance, to be able to make informed decisions based on their own circumstances and requirements.
The Strategy also recognises the importance of promoting the wellbeing of our staff, recognising the interdependency between the wellbeing of students and staff.
The actions to deliver our ambitions are centred on 9 strategic themes:
- Personal ownership of wellbeing
- Mental wellbeing
- Physical health
- Academic wellbeing
- Social engagement
- Personal development
- Campus and halls environment
- Financial wellbeing and
- Supporting staff to embed the strategy.
A detailed action plan is currently being finalised. Keep an eye out for communications on its launch and implementation. We’ll also keep you updated over the coming weeks, and you can check out our Twitter @UoGEquality.
On this theme of transformation, we thought we’d try a different approach to delivering equality and diversity messages.
As many of you will know, the Equality Team is relatively new to social media. In fact, I only really engaged with it due to the persuasion and encouragement of our Equality and Diversity intern. I shall always be grateful. My anxiety at the outset was completely unfounded. This term therefore we are looking to make short films and video clips on a range of diversity and equality topics. Our Chancellor’s words from the conference, “you need to make diversity personal”, keep coming back to me. So, we thought we’d give digital and social media channels a go.
Oh, one final thing. My friend and colleague, Anna, and I are trialling a podcast! No idea how it might go, so watch this space.