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Widening Participation training for staff

17 Jan 2022

New course so colleagues can help us achieve our goal of ensuring there are ‘no barriers for studying and no barriers for learning’

Into Manchester North

Widening Participation (WP) is firmly embedded into how our University is run and our core goals of teaching, learning and social responsibility.

This is because we know that higher education has the potential to be transformative to individuals, local communities and the wider society. However, a huge amount of research shows that not everyone has an equal opportunity to accessing and/or succeeding at higher education level.

In order to achieve our goal of ensuring there are ‘no barriers for studying and no barriers for learning’, we believe that all of our staff from across the University must work together to tackle the issues of underrepresentation of certain groups of students within the higher education sector. A survey earlier this year found that both knowledge and awareness of WP is limited within our staff body.

In response to this, we have created a WP training module for staff. Accessed via the Staff Learning and Development training catalogue, it has been designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of WP to all staff from across the University, and informs of the actions that can be taken by any staff member, regardless of role, in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all our students, regardless of their background.

The training aims to:

  • Help staff to understand what WP is, who ‘WP students’ are, and what barriers they may have faced when accessing and studying at university
  • Help staff to understand why WP initiatives are important, and what targets our University has set in relation to WP
  • Help staff to understand the actions they can take to support students from WP backgrounds, and help the University to achieve our goals.

People who have completed the course said the following:

“I think it’s a great resource! A nice balance of clear definitions for those to whom this is a new area of thinking re: their professional practice, but even as someone who is familiar with much of it I found it well-paced.”

“I thought module 5 was particularly useful. A lot of people are aware of who is part of WP, however I think a lot of people don't understand why some groups are part of WP and some of the barriers they face whilst studying in HE.”

It is recommended that all staff at the University complete this training. The full training takes approximately 40 minutes to complete; but if you are unable to complete it in one sitting, you can access it again to continue, by going to Blackboard.

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Widening Participation training for staff