M202 Being Inclusive
The aim of Personal Tutoring is to help students realise a successful and satisfactory academic experience and to assist them to differentiate their interests, academic strengths, and future goals for entry to what is a highly competitive job market. Your tutees will include students from diverse backgrounds with different cultural identities and with particular “protected characteristics” (see bullet points below); disadvantaged or under-represented in HE (often described as the widening participation cohort) and may need more, or different, support. Institutions strive to provide an equitable and inclusive environment for students.
This activity explores what inclusivity means for institutions delivering HE courses; how to identify, recognise and work with students from diverse backgrounds; how student characteristics or backgrounds might negatively affect their engagement and their learning; and how institutions deliver bespoke support to students. Being inclusive will result in a more satisfied, engaged. and successful student; in better retention, satisfaction, academic and progression statistics for the institution; in an improving equitable and inclusive environment for students; and a more engaged, satisfied and productive Personal Tutor.
What will you learn from engaging in this activity?
- Identify and recognise students from diverse backgrounds and those who could fall within categories of disadvantage and learn more about their context
- Understand and empathise with the context, characteristics, or background of students as it might negatively affect engagement and learning – remembering to challenge if and where appropriate
- Learn more about, and have better connections with, institutionally-delivered bespoke support to students
What key concepts will you understand as a result of engaging in this activity?
Students come from diverse backgrounds and / or have characteristics that can negatively affect their engagement and learning. As a personal tutor, you cannot deal with all that students present, but you should recognise the limitations of your role and refer tutees where appropriate to other bespoke sources of support.
Experience of an empathetic and knowledgeable tutorial experience together with exposure to wider institutional support will improve and enhance student satisfaction, engagement, and success. General understanding of diversity in this context is important but care must be taken to avoid making assumptions, applying stereotypes or over-simplification. You should receive/request training on issues connected to students with diverse and different backgrounds and cultural identities, and on the institutional support available
What essential questions will this activity address?
- What are the challenges of working with students from different cultural backgrounds, circumstances or personal characteristics?
- How do you approach sensitive issues of cultural identity or experienced disadvantage?
- Are there ways to be prepared beforehand with a knowledge of a student’s context?
- Have you read or been directed to the relevant institutional plans and strategies - widening participation; student engagement; equality, diversity and inclusion?
- Can online (virtual) tutoring approaches and activities benefit disadvantaged students?
Before you engage in this activity, we recommend that you have studied these UKAT Curriculum activities, or attained equivalent experience.
Framework Competencies Addressed
C5. How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
R2. Communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner
P1. Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners
P2. Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness