Social Responsibility

Funding secured for brand new Diversity and Inclusion student ambassador scheme

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:51:00 GMT

Under the Catalyst Fund established by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the University has been successful in a proposal designed to improve outcomes for students from low socio-economic groups and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and students that experience mental ill health.

The University of Manchester in collaboration with the University of Manchester Students’ Union has been awarded £768,390. Working with their partner institutions the University of Birmingham and Manchester Metropolitan University, and their Students’ Unions the project will develop a ‘Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador Programme’. The proposal is led by Dr Hema Radhakrishnan and Dr Dawn Edge from School of Health Sciences and Catherine Prescott from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion office is the co-investigator.

Dr Radhakrishnan said: “We are all really pleased with this support from HEFCE. The project will benefit thousands of students in Manchester and at our partner Universities. The innovative approaches developed in this project such as the Active Bystander Intervention and the Information Exchange Platform will enrich student experience and build longstanding links between staff and student groups.”

Dr Edge said: “Manchester has a diverse campus and that is one of our strengths. However, the 2015 research carried out across England did identify that there are issues at universities that need to be addressed.

This project will help us examine what we do here at Manchester and to develop new resources and support for our students. We’d very much hope that we’ll learn lessons which can be applied more broadly across the sector.”

Over two years, partners will focus on issues specifically relevant to their student population. Overall the programme will work to improve outcomes, specifically attainment and student experience, for BAME students and those from low socio-economic groups and students that experience mental ill health.

It will use a co-production model that builds on the Black Student Ambassador Programme at the University of Birmingham and the Diversity and Wellbeing Student Ambassador Programme piloted in the Manchester Pharmacy School. Led by Dr Sally Freeman and Professor Kaye Williams, this programme aimed to safely challenge negative stereotypes, increase students’ sense of belonging, and support engagement with the 5 ways to wellbeing (NEF, 2008).

The investment will allow recognition and celebration of the Faculty’s diverse community, it will demonstrate the commitment being made to ensure that all stake holders are treated fairly.

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