Esohe Uwadiae (Institutional Equity Officer), Office for Institutional Equity, University of East London
On July 8th 2020, a symposium was held entitled ‘Eradicating the Degree Awarding Gap in the Creative Arts’. This symposium was a collaboration between Student Equity Champions at the University of East London (Jasz Brown, Nesmie Constantine, Talyaan Pambou and Louize Williams), Project Intern Terri Foreman, Dr Martin Heaney of the School of Arts and the Creative Industries and Community Facilitator Jay Patel.
The project began as a teacher-led enquiry into improving classroom practice through more inclusive pedagogies, with particular regard to students racialised as Black or Brown. Goals changed through dialogue with colleagues, in particular creating more student-led input. This saw the project moving from a ‘conventional’ conference led by academics to one with more input from student and alumni. This led further to a strand of training for students as ‘Equity Champions’ and a conference. In this sense, the development of the project was ‘iterative’ with some recommendations made through inclusive dialogue to shape the event and outcomes which were not envisaged at the start of the project. Planning restraints (with short budget timelines) and restrictions imposed through Covid also altered the methods of training for students and dialogue between staff and students to an online model.
More information about the project is listed on UEL’s intranet pages here.
Due to the equity-focused nature of the project, and the increasing importance of collaborations between the University and its students to positively impact student outcomes, this toolkit was proposed to collate best practice on how to do this in order to support colleagues engaging in this work. While the toolkit draws on the experiences of those within the symposium, it is not a reflection of what occurred in the symposium, nor is it intended as a critique. Rather the toolkit aims to demystify the process of co-creating with students to allow others to replicate such meaningful work.
This toolkit will particularly explore staff members collaborating with minoritised students, with an enhanced focus on students who are racially minoritised (Black and Brown students).
This blog post and document were edited by Jonathan Tulloch, Learning Technology Adviser in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).