Developing a genuinely inclusive university education involves removing barriers to participation and attainment for all students. EEF funding has developed significant experience and expertise in key aspects of inclusive education and the projects funded have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally, enhancing the reputation of the University as a leader in this important area.
LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in the Curriculum
EEF has supported work that is highly innovative within the higher education sector, developing best practice guidance for ensuring that the curriculum is inclusive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students. Drawing on the experiences of more than 1000 UoB staff and students and identifying effective practice both within and beyond the University, the project developed ‘a model of inclusivity’ and created a good practice guide for colleagues seeking to embed LGBTQ issues in all of the institution’s academic disciplines. Stonewall, a campaigning organisation in the UK committed to LGBT equality, have explored how they might roll out the model of inclusivity in other higher education organisations.
Ward, Nicki and Gale, Nicola (2016) LGBTQ-inclusivity in the Higher Education Curriculum: a best practice guide. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.
In addition, the Project Leads established a national network “LGBTQ inclusivity in Higher Education” and in September2016 ran an international conference on their work. They have since given keynote talks nationally and internationally. Co-leads Nicola Gale and Nicki Ward were nominated for and won a Teaching Academy Educational Leadership award; and in 2017 the work formed UoB’s submission to the Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) co-ordinated by Advance HE.
Development in this important area has continued since the initial EEF project. The leads are working with HEFi to ensure that LGBTQ inclusivity, and models for developing inclusive curricula more broadly, are embedded into all initial teacher education within the University; and are also editing a book on LGBTQ inclusion in HE as part of the Routledge Education Handbooks series.
EEF action research – how can educational technologies make our curricula more accessible to our diverse student body?
Watch the Panopto video HEFi's Education Enhancement Fund Case Study: Action Research on the Inclusive Curriculum to discover EEF-funded work examining how educational technologies can make our curricula more accessible to our diverse student body.
AuVision – Enhancing Outcomes for Autistic Students
‘AuVision’ aimed to enable UoB staff to better anticipate and meet the needs of autistic students at each stage of their studies. It was designed as a participatory research project, employing autistic students and alumni as researchers to consult with their peers. The conference to disseminate the research findings was attended by 130 delegates from more than 40 HEIs, and the recommendation report and multimedia learning resource produced remains widely used across the sector. Following the end of the project a companion student-facing resource to support autistic students with their transition to University was produced.
The academic paper that resulted, 'Participatory autism research with students at a UK university: evidence from a small-scale empirical project', was co-written by project leads and autistic project researchers. It is one of the first to discuss the challenges and benefits of including autistic participant researchers at all stages of the research project, including research design, data collection, analysis and dissemination. The participatory model proposed by AuVision is available to be adopted to work with other student groups to develop more inclusive practices.