In 2014, a report published by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CASE), entitled Improving Diversity in STEM, demonstrated hard and depressing evidence that women, those with disabilities and those from ethnic-minorities or socially-disadvantaged groups are consistently underrepresented at senior levels in STEM. An unfamiliar HE environment can be stressful, particularly for those who already have an underlying illness/disability.
Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) applied for a Student Projects Grant to encourage diversity, participation and confidence in minority groups around STEM and to promote and develop a series of activities to enhance the wellbeing of its students.
The plan focused on matters of equality and addressing barriers to access and progression through a series of targeted events, including Engineering a Winning Workforce by Creating an Inclusive Engineering Industry’, an event taking place on 16 November, delivered by Dr Mark McBide-Wright.
The other arm of the project aimed to lessen the stigma surrounding mental health by offering support mechanisms such as a series of events on managing student life, increased deployment of wellbeing information, and promoting simple measures such as a healthy lunchtime walk!
The project has enabled students to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes needed for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now, and in the future and educated staff both in EDA and at Kent as a whole.