Aims of the programme
The Inclusion Consultants scheme launched in January 2022 as part of our whole-institution strategy for closing Awarding Gaps at the University of Reading. Targets for closing these gaps are set out in the Access Participation Plan and require a collective commitment to institutional change.
The Inclusion Consultants scheme aims to:
- Support staff to collaborate with underrepresented students on embedding inclusion and diversity into the development of courses and services.
- Review institutional policies, systems and practices through the lens of inclusivity and lived experience.
Requesting feedback on inclusivity is an opportunity for staff to consider how students on their courses will engage with course content and adapt it accordingly using the Curriculum Framework or Decolonising the Curriculum toolkit.
They are also available to provide feedback for professional services on any events, plans or projects where EDI-related feedback from current students would be useful. If you would like feedback on a topic not listed here, you are welcome to make a request to Student Success and Engagement.
This year students have provided feedback on:
- Inclusive teaching approaches and assessment methods.
- Establishing engaging BAME student networks in schools and departments.
- Inclusive recruitment practices and diversifying student roles.
- Decolonising the curriculum.
Value for colleagues
Consultations are an opportunity for colleagues to reflect on the inclusivity of their current practice in a supportive, solution-oriented environment. This is consistent with a core element of our teaching and learning strategy, to “support all members of our increasingly diverse student body”, as well as our strategic commitment to reducing awarding gaps to 0% by 2025.
Colleague case study – Molli Cleaver, Community Relations Manager, University of Reading
“I recently received approval to recruit 15 new Student Community Champions. It's crucial that the students we recruit are diverse, to strengthen our connection to, and engagement with, the local community.
I booked a consultation with the student Inclusion Consultants to gain some advice on making the role appealing to diverse candidates. It was interesting to understand how impactful your choice of language can be and the simple opportunities there are to make your recruitment much more inclusive and appealing to a wider audience.
This doesn't begin to demonstrate how much rich feedback the Inclusion Consultants provided! I've used the feedback to refine the job description, improve the inclusive nature of the recruitment process and have started to consider what induction and training could look like. It has also made me consider more widely how we engage with the local community, particularly diverse communities where we need to be doing more to build stronger relationships.”
What is it like for the students?
The students are extensively trained and supported with a large emphasis placed on empowerment and wellbeing.
It is a paid, flexible position which allows students to engage around their studies and personal commitments. For that reason, we are proud to have recruited a diverse student cohort who are confident and comfortable collaborating with colleagues on matters related to ethnicity, disability, parenting/caring responsibilities, LGBTQIA+ student experience and more.
They are paid and coordinated by Student Success and Engagement.
Booking a consultation
Please email Mathew Haine to request a consultation or discuss how a consultation could best meet your needs.