Team Talk: New Year, New Ideas

Freedom to Achieve’s Team Talks provide an opportunity for programme teams involved with the project to share best practice in positively addressing the attainment gap. Our first event took place on Tuesday 9th October, with a focus on transition and support. The current timetable for future Team Talks is shown below.

First work of the year: support, assessment type                  20th November 2018

Retention, establishing connection/belonging                      8th January 2019

Establishing engagement and confidence                              19th February 2019

Co-creation and Reflective practice                                         2nd April 2019

Exams, finals and alternative assessments                            14th May 2019

Curriculum development and employability                         25th June 2019

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Kimberlin Colour Full Reads

Read a good book? This is the question posed to students visiting the leisure reading stand at Kimberlin on 8/10/18 as part of LLS activities for National Libraries week. During that Wednesday afternoon over one hundred and seven students visited the stand and spoke with Library staff about their favourite reads and explored the leisure reading material displayed, some borrowing Library staff recommendations.

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Office for students: Addressing barriers to student success

Law Society London, Chaired by Dr Gurnam Singh

A diverse day of diversity initiatives. Shakira Martin President of NUS, spoke of the impact of poverty and class which restrict choice, access and increase drop-out: she advised us to “Get in and get on” and create “transformative intellectuals”. She emphasized “students need to feel their intellects are validated and valued”. She spoke of the need for culturally competent services to support our diverse student body. Students need affordable accommodation, maintenance grants and paid internships to help overcome the barriers of debt and “not-belonging”.

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“Let’s work together to make a difference”: Freedom to Achieve co-creation events and our four underpinning themes

On 29 January and 1 February the Freedom to Achieve project team hosted a co-creation event for students and staff at DMU to explore, discuss and share ideas of how to effect the eradication of the attainment gap. These two mirror events were well attended by students and staff from across the faculties, range of subject areas and levels of study. The mood of the events was both positive and uplifting, students commented on the inspiring nature of these events and expressed a feeling of gratitude that DMU were openly tackling the national issue of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attainment gap. Research suggests DMU is one of a handful of institutions to take a transparent and direct approach to this issue and consult their students directly about this matter, offering them the opportunity to share their ideas and co-create approaches to close the gap, exactly what these co-creation events were all about.

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