Author: Jenny Terry, Project Officer – University of Brighton
The Changing Mindsets project at Brighton supports the University’s strategy ‘Practical Wisdom’ for 2016-2021. In the strategy, we set out our commitment to enhance the quality of all we do, invest in our futures, and enable the talents of our staff and students. By introducing this HEFCE Catalyst funded project at Brighton, we are supporting the translation of these goals into reality by encouraging our participants at the University to flourish and realise their full potential.
To this end, we are embedding the Changing Mindsets project into existing programmes to enable many staff and students to become involved. For students, we are training mentors on our PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) scheme to deliver the Changing Mindsets workshops to first year students, as well as integrating it into existing modules where Schools do not run PASS. Staff will have the opportunity to take the workshops on our PG Cert in Learning and Teaching and Course Leader Course, and we are also investigating more ways for student-facing staff groups across the University to have access to the programme in the longer-term. We are excited to be delivering an intervention that not only targets students, but also emphasises the role staff can play in impacting students’ attitudes to learning. This supports the University’s commitment to involve everyone in the delivery of the 2016-2021 strategy, whilst still realising the desire to “put students at the heart of all we do”.
By integrating Changing Mindsets into existing University structures, we are beginning to establish the sustainability of the programme for the longer-term. Alongside the roll-out of the workshops, our team is working hard to raise awareness of the project across the institution. We are busy making connections with our Student’s Union, the Equalities and Diversity Team, the Deputy Heads for Learning and Teaching, Student Support teams, and many others. In doing so we are further supporting Brighton’s commitment that the Strategy’s aims be actively inclusive. We recognise and encourage the diversity of our student body, and of our staff, and wish to enable a wide range of people to make the most out of their time with us. By running the Changing Mindsets project, we are enhancing our existing staff training that actively promotes equality and inclusivity.
We are also making use of new and innovative technologies to deliver the programme, as per Brighton’s commitment to flexible modes of learning. Both students and staff that undertake our workshops will take an online course, at a time and place convenient to suit them, as well as our classroom-based sessions. In this way, we recognise the need for people to fit the training in around existing commitments, and hope that this will enable more people to engage with the project.
Brighton is proud of its commitment to inclusivity and equality and, with Changing Mindsets, we are excited to be contributing to this key element of our strategy.
Disclaimer: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily reflect the values of the University of Portsmouth or the extended Partnership.