Posted Thursday 30 March 2017
Kingston University has scooped the teaching excellence gong at the Guardian 2017 University Awards, receiving specific praise for the inclusivity and accessibility of its courses.
The Guardian panel commended Kingston University on its groundbreaking work reducing the attainment gap between black and minority ethnic (BME) and white students. In particular, the panel highlighted the inclusive curriculum framework which provides staff with access to short animations, research findings and case studies that help demystify inclusivity.
The University's Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Nona McDuff explained the concept behind the award-winning initiative. "The framework often provides a ‘light bulb' moment for staff, prompting them to consider accessibility and inclusion within the content, delivery, assessment, feedback and evaluation of all their courses," she explained.
Activities that have driven the development of the framework include equality and unconscious bias seminars for staff, as well as academic and multicultural diversity training for students. "The ultimate aim is to design our degrees in a way that enables our students to become graduates who make an effective contribution to today's diverse and competitive global economy," Ms McDuff said.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education Dr Clarissa Wilks said the Guardian award was recognition of the innovative activity Kingston University had been carrying out to increase the attainment of students. "This award highlights the pioneering work of Nona McDuff, Annie Hughes and the entire Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, as well as the remarkable students studying at Kingston University," she explained. "This work is vital and will continue to inform the identity of the University in the future."
Dr Wilks highlighted the strides the University had made to support students from all backgrounds including many who were the first in their families to enter higher education. "It's testimony to the way in which we've been able to make inclusion part of the everyday work we do to serve our proudly diverse community of staff and students and ensure that they flourish," she added.
The inclusive curriculum framework has also been acclaimed as part of a £25k project funded by the Higher Education Agency and the University has recently received £500k from the Government's Catalyst Fund to roll it out to five other universities and a further education college.
Kingston University's Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Mackintosh said the award was proof of the efforts of staff and students right across the University who had contributed to the success. "The award is yet another reason why students should study at Kingston University and confirmation for those already here that they have made the right choice," he added.
Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at Kingston University.