Staff Conference 2022: EDI Pathway on 15 September

As part of our Staff Conference 2022 (15-16 September), our ‘EDI Pathway’ will take place on Thursday 15 September. This is a day-long, face-to-face strand of presentations and workshops addressing, among other things, the experience of our trans students, the role of our staff disability network, accessibility and adult education.

All sessions will be taking place in Room TS2 in Templeman, so take a look at the schedule and come along!

10.15 – 11.00 – The experiences of our trans students – with Lynne Regan

This session will present Lynne’s recent research which looks at how improvements to university processes and facilities can provide a more inclusive environment where trans students feel validated and supported. It considers how trans-inclusive curricula can help to address the power imbalance of learning within a privileged cisnormative environment. The session will include group discussions with scenarios about we can better support our trans students.

11.15 – 12.00 – StellarHE – promoting diversity in leadership – with Sarah Dustagheer

Authenticity, inclusive emotional intelligence, cultural competence and inclusive leadership are some of the attributes that Black, Asian and ethnically diverse leaders bring to Higher Education. And yet they continue to be under-represented in senior roles and their lived experiences continue to be impacted by micro-aggressions through to outright discrimination.

StellarHE supports the achievement of Race Equality Charter Mark goal to “inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to minority ethnic staff and students”. It is a tried and tested development experience for Diverse Leaders in HE.

In this session the first ever cohort of StellarHE colleagues from Kent share their experience of the course.

12.00 – 13.00 – What are they saying about faith in universities? – with Revd Dr Stephen Laird

Recent research has revealed that students at UK universities are now generally more attuned to religious faith than lecturers, supervisors and service providers. Our own student demographic has moved decisively towards greater ethnic and cultural diversity – something which is not reflected to the same extent across the staff body – and this observation certainly applies at Kent. This session will involve the sharing and discussion of data and our local insights followed by a discussion.

13.50 – 14.30 – Why do we bother with EDI initiatives? with Martin Michaelis

Is the purpose of EDI to make sure we adhere to legal requirements and remain in line with the law? Or do we want to go beyond the minimal requirements set by the law? And if so, why?

Drawing on his experience as EDI Lead in the Division of Natural Sciences, Martin will outline the importance of understanding why we undertake EDI initiatives and how the University and all staff and students can benefit from doing so. What is needed, he argues, is an inclusive, participatory leadership approach across the University that gives everybody the opportunity to make meaningful contributions and to receive the recognition for them.

14.30 – 15.15 – Get involved – the Staff disability network – with Dr Jennifer Leigh, Josie Caplehorne, Hannah Greer and Dr Jolie Keemink

What does it mean to be disabled, chronically ill or neurodivergent? What is it like to work with or manage a disabled or neurodivergent person? What are we too afraid to ask or say?

Delivered by the Staff Disability Network, this session will create more openness and understanding around these topics, introduce the Network’s activities, explain how you can get involved and what the network can do to support you. An open discussion will follow, using an approach that harnesses creative research methods to bring about conversations on topics that can be hard to put into words and to co-create a tangible output.

15.30 – 16.15 – Making information and learning accessible for all – with Kasia Senyszyn

How do we make our content and our teaching more inclusive? How do we gain confidence in creating accessible content to support all our students?

This session is for all staff who want to improve their support for students and staff with additional accessibility needs, as well as develop creative ways to embed ‘reasonable adjustments’ into their work and processes. Come along to learn interactively and to play some games!

If you have any access requirements for the session please do get in touch.

16.15 – 17.00 – Bridging the gap: How the University is breaking barriers to adult education and doing 6th form differently – with Donna Coyte and Lucy Frost

Diversifying our teaching provision is an important objective for the University as it enhances opportunity for students, breaking down barriers to progress and achievement. Find out about the University’s responsive and flexible approach to adult education and 6th form provision, why we do this, what we’ve learnt and why it matters.

Listen to our students on the 6th form programme on the Medway campus as they explain why they love our University Entrance Diploma course, how it has helped them to progress to undergraduate study and why we decided to develop and invest in this innovative programme. Adult students on the University’s Access to HE Diploma programme will also share their experiences of getting back to education. This session will focus on how and why this information can be of use to staff with some key ‘take-aways’, with a brief Q&A at the end.

Check out the daily programmes for the Staff Conference 2022.