17 December 2013

The Social Inclusion Unit is committed to promoting widening participation in Higher Education and has acted as a motivator and operator for the initiatives that are identified by the University in this area. Under this notion, the Widening Participation Scholars Network (a joint initiative with the Institute for Teaching and Learning) and the Schools Engagement Network were created. These two University wide networks have provided academic and professional staff with a communication platform where knowledge and experience were shared.

The Widening Participation Scholars Network (WPSN) aims to aid University staff in developing and understanding inclusive teaching. Since its launch in 2011, the network has provided exciting professional development opportunities and prompt scholarship support to University staff. This year, the network has delivered five workshops, where international and domestic specialists showcased prosperous research and shared valuable practical experience. Topics including embedding social inclusion in Universities, First in Family student retention research and academic literacy focusing on ESL students were discussed. Practical workshops for grant and project writing were also delivered. More information about the WPSN and relevant resources can be found here.

The Schools Engagement Network was launched in July this year. It is intended to facilitate information sharing and communication between Faculties undertaking work with Schools as part of Social Inclusion initiatives and/or widening participation strategies. The network's aim is to provide opportunities for relevant school updates, access to shared resources, and professional development opportunities that enhance school partnerships. Three workshops in the following areas have been delivered by the network this year:

  • Working with Children Check - the new legislation
  • Branding and on campus events for school students
  • Working with schools and L-SES communities-Volunteering and schools engagement

More information about the Schools Engagement Network can be found here.