Category 6 - Diverse Voices

This award is for a project, initiative or organisation in the past two years, which has promoted staff-student partnership in the learning experience relating to the advancement of equality and diversity and the development of partnership for those voices who are less often heard

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Winner:

Virtual Internships for Underrepresented Students - exploring opportunities for student co-creation and partnership ~ The Open University in Scotland

OUiS’s virtual internships for under-represented students was a joint project in two university faculties, aiming to enhance progression and employment for a range of students including those with disabilities, carer or care-experienced students, and BAME students. The internships saw students rooted in various departments and teams of the university, adding – in the words of supervisors – “incredible value” to projects relating to student induction, curriculum design and science outreach. One intern stated that their internship gave “indispensable experience of working life”.

In another tight field, judges commended the strong values of the internship programme and the strategic approach to student employability.
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Runner-up:

Inclusive Survey Supports Student Voice ~ Fife College

A comprehensive approach to ensure every student, regardless of their circumstances, can engage effectively in curriculum development. The College’s commitment to inclusivity led them to design a Learner Survey that met the needs of various student groups, ensuring the survey was tailored and made more accessible for visually impaired students, supported learning students and ESOL students.

The initiative resulted in a significant increase in engagement and understanding within these student groups, with almost 400 additional students benefitting from the inclusive approach. The detailed feedback and constructive comments from all students surveyed has already had a positive impact on our courses and curriculum development. The College has since shared their knowledge and experience and provided training to 7 other colleges in Scotland, supporting them to adapt their surveys to ensure inclusion.
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Shortlisted:

Engaging FCSA Prison-Based Members ~ Fife College Students Association, and Fife College Learning and Skills Team

An initiative to improve the learning experience of prison-based learners and encourage increased participation to engage with the education programmes. Research shows that a significant portion of the prison population have had negative educational experiences and are often reluctant to engage with the programmes so the FCSA set out to look at how they could increase engagement and make the classes more enjoyable.

Starting with small steps; learners were encouraged to engage in various initiatives, including woodworking learners creating tree stands for the College’s 'Positivi-trees' campaign which were then decorated by learners in art classes. As part of the FCSA and Fife College Awards, new categories were introduced to allow prison-based learners to nominate their teaching staff for awards, and creative pieces designed by the prison-based learners were displayed on the place settings at the awards ceremony. The FCSA also worked closely with the College's Prison Learning Department to create the 'Connections' art festival, a public exhibition showcasing prison-based learners' artwork, celebrating the creativity of this population of learners. The initiative has been a success, with feedback indicating an increase in both engagement and enjoyment of prison-based learners.

Student Engagement Framework

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