It is the responsibility of the School and the course team to ensure that all new students, regardless of background, culture, disability, or other characteristics are able to fully integrate into the University and into their course. Personal integration of all first-year students is best achieved through proactively and positively promoting widening participation in an inclusive learning environment.
Students need to feel they belong. On entering higher education many students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, can encounter alien language and procedures, feelings of isolation and lack of sense of positive identity. This can impact negatively on graduate outcomes and student continuation.
The curriculum can play an important role in supporting personal integration. An inclusive curriculum that relates to a student’s personal context and an environment that celebrates diversity underpin personal integration. The NUS’s ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’ campaign (2015) suggests proactive choice of case studies and books and use of personal experiences to describe content can support developing the voice of BME students within a course. Some forms of assessment may privilege some students so increasing assessment choices can support all students to perform better, feel happier and thus integrate better into their course. Care with the language about course work and course information, co-development of activities and co-development of assessment can all act to develop a sense of belonging. You can find out more about inclusive assessment practice in this guide.
Self-efficacy and a sense of belonging can be effectively nurtured through providing role-models. Peer mentoring schemes and buddying that provide opportunities for new students to be supported by established students who have faced and overcome similar challenges, can effectively underpin personal integration of new students whilst, at the same time, providing students opportunities to deepen social integration.
|Lisa Gorton||Active participation from the course team|
|Tom Muskett||Engaging students through dialogue|
|Nehal Mahtab||Creating a sense of belonging with SEMS|
|Tom Muskett||Facilitating dialogue in large group teaching|
|Simon Warren||Joint projects for UG / PG students|
|Julia Claxton & Helen Rodgers||Innovative assessment - boardroom role play|
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Page last updated: 31/07/2020