University College Birmingham’s second Inclusivity Conference highlights intersectionality and co-creation
By Carrie MokShare post:
Read time: approx 6 mins
University College Birmingham successfully held its second Inclusivity Conference, while celebrating the halving of its awarding gap, meaning that students from all backgrounds are less likely to see differences in their educational results.
This year’s theme, Understanding Inclusive Education With An Intersectional, Co-Creation And Reflective Lens, was prevalent throughout all workshops and keynotes from staff and guests alike.
The conference began with a morning keynote from Dr Paul Campbell, Associate Professor of Sociology and Distinguished Teaching Fellow at the University of Leicester as well as the inaugural Director of the Leicester Institute for Inclusivity in HE, Chair of the Leicester Race Equality Action Group and a National Teaching Fellow.
Dr Campbell’s keynote discussed inclusive education in terms of race-based inequalities within higher education assessments. While exploring the extent of social and cultural factors affecting the performance and satisfaction of students from BAME backgrounds, Dr Campbell also provided recommendations for how staff can acknowledge these inequities and improve their teaching practice.
Workshops throughout the day included the Inclusivity Framework For Curriculum Design and Delivery Through Staff and Student Co-Creation from Stephen Dudley, Director of Learning Services; Dr Luciana Akemi Iwasa, Employability Tutor; and Richard Taylor, Senior Lecturer. The workshop explored the inclusive curriculum framework for curriculum design and delivery co-created by staff and students between October 2022 to March 2023.
Based on a two-year student-led funded pilot project, University College Birmingham and partner institution University of Warwick staff and students (including Professor Jonny Heron, Director of the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning at University of Warwick and Dr Devinder Rana-Rai, Director of Inclusive Curriculum and Higher Education Quality at University College Birmingham) presented the workshop Practising Inclusive Education Curriculum, Campus and Community. The workshop provided insight into how staff and student co-creators across the two universities practise inclusive education in community values, anti-racist practice, inclusive assessment and queer/trans inclusion.
“The inclusivity conference this year has the theme ‘Understanding Inclusive Education With An Intersectional, Co-Creation And Reflective Lens’, which was supported by workshops led by academics, professional support services and student co-creator and voices,” said Dr Devinder Rana-Rai. “The event was not only a celebration of halving our awarding gaps, but also an opportunity to stop and reflect on what we have learnt, with the aim of shaping our direction moving forward.
“Several workshops showcased work taking place across University College Birmingham and it was great to see the engagement and hard work taking place in inclusive practice across the institution. This was also an opportunity to showcase work in development, and departments which have undertaken tailored training.
“Deeply embedded across all workshops was the voices of our students, which is pivotal to build on work so that all our students, irrespective of dispositional, circumstantial and protected characteristics, have an equal chance to succeed in and progress from their programme of study. As always, we had great engagement from our staff on the day.”
"Several workshops showcased work taking place across University College Birmingham and it was great to see the engagement and hard work taking place in inclusive practice across the institution. This was also an opportunity to showcase work in development, and departments which have undertaken tailored training."
Dr Arun Verma, Head of Inclusion for the University of London, Academic Tutor (University of Dundee) and Fellow of the RSA, also delivered an afternoon keynote titled Intersectionality Is The Key To Unlocking The Problem Of Inclusion. Focusing on intersectionality and providing an embedded supportive academic experience for those falling through the gaps, Dr Verma explored aspirations for a more inclusive university system, and being mindful of local and national systems to help dictate the change towards a more inclusive society.
Learn about how University College Birmingham supports our students, from providing study-based skills and help with academic learning for diverse needs, to our disability support to ensure that all of our students have an outstanding, equal learning experience.
In pictures: Second Inclusivity Conference
Other workshops included:
The Journey to Inclusion
Chelsey McNeil, Head of Department, Creative Industries and the Aesthetic Practitioner team on the 4x4 training undertaken to enhance inclusivity across the programme
Inclusivity Within Hired Employability Practice
Cherry Buckley, Employability Tutor
Reframing the English Language curriculum with relevance and inclusivity at its heart
Deborah Orrock, English Curriculum Leader
Nadia Ambreen, English Lecturer
Exploring Inclusive Approaches in Sport and Nutrition Education
Darren Chesworth, Interim Deputy Head of Sport and Nutrition
Nathan Price, Lecturer - Sport, Coaching and Fitness
Teaching and Learning: The International Student Perspective
Nancy Mpofu, Lecturer - Hospitality and Tourism
Using EP and co-creation with our students: my experiences with Pre-Sessional
English groups and how you might try this with your modules
Dr Julia Clifford, Deputy Head of Department (EAP), Centre for Academic Skills and English
LGBTQ+ Student Advocacy and Allyship
Jay Henri, student activist and former QueerSoc president
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