Awards Category 4

Category 4: A student-led initiative across the college or university which demonstrates a clear commitment to equality and diversity and has had an impact across the organisation

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Winner:

Levels ~ South Lanarkshire College

Many students, including several who had physical or mental disabilities, raised the issue of access to the college lift. The standard complaint was that people who NEED to use the lift (which is of course not always obvious) have to wait long periods in queues because many people who could use the stairs but don't are also using the lift. As a result they can be late for class or mealtimes and the issue was therefore impacting their learning.

The students, in consultation with staff, decided to take the issue forward by making an awareness video 'infomercial' to be shown on the college video wall. The project was done as part of an IT multimedia course being undertaken by students with additional support needs on a supported programme.

The students came up with the storyline, acted and filmed a lot of the footage themselves, chose the music and were engaged in every part of the process. In the course of it they learned about filming and technical skills by working with a professional film editor. They learned about editing, copyright and acting skills and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Every student had opportunities to be both behind and in front of the camera.

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Runner-up:

Project Myopia ~ The University of Edinburgh

'Project Myopia' is a project which connects globally disparate people with the same ethical concerns about education reform. It is two-pronged a website focusing on diversifying university curricula through crowdsourcing material from students and revolutionising the way that curricula are designed. The plan is to display regular submissions from students of visual, literary, cinematic, musical material they feel their curricula would benefit from, focused on increasing diversity. Additionally, workshops have been organised the LiberatED campaign, which has the same goal of diversifying the curriculum at Edinburgh. These workshops challenge normative curricula and syllabi as well as liaising with student councils to petition for syllabus changes.

Both campaigns are entirely student led. The workshops are supported by EUSA, and feature student opinions and experiences of marginalisation within academia, and their input on how and where improvements can be made. The objective of the campaign is to create an interdisciplinary collection of material to hand to course organisers and petition for their inclusion.

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Shortlisted:

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White Ribbon Campaign
~ Glasgow Kelvin College

ESOL students: widening participation and increasing diversity through essential skills development
~ West College Scotland

Reclaim the Night
~ Ayrshire College

Student Engagement Framework
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