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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group: Meeting two

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group meeting two

 

The meeting began with an overview of last month’s meeting, we spoke to the following:

 

  • Unconscious bias training: which should not be a ‘tick box’ exercise, rather it will have an OCA specific focus and be for all i.e. staff, tutors and students. WW has approached Dr Pragya Agarwal, who is a specialist in this area, comes recommended and has worked with OCA previously
  • Curriculum improvements: work has been undertaken and is continuing to be undertaken, on diversifying materials. ML shared a case study produced on Padlet by tutor Arpita Shah, as an example of inclusive and intersectional curriculum with a ‘lived experience’ focus, which can be viewed here: https://oca.padlet.org/arpitashah/ub88ec2dlz15 ‘lived experience’, is one of a range of approaches that OCA materials will take in order to diversify materials
  • ML has asked EH to showcase work on diversity, look out for expressions of interest

 

We spoke about the new OCA learning Design model, case studies and short courses, which brings students into the process i.e. students will co-construct the materials by producing artworks and research and building a legacy for new students to see, learn from and add to. It was raised that this comes with a warning, in the sense that we need to be careful that we do not perpetuate more of the same. This is an interesting point, whilst we do have a diverse student body in that a 3rd of students have protected characteristics and a range of students fit into 1 & 2 POLAR categories, and our students have an age range of 17 – 93 years old, we still may not see diversity of voice.

 

This led to a fascinating, thought provoking and useful discussion on benchmarking what we are doing and planning to do. By this I mean, where are the good models for diversification that OCA can look to? We discussed Kate Hatton’s work on intersectionality, and it was suggested that we look to work happening in universities North America and Johannesburg.  OCA is looking forward to hearing more about this and researching this further. We spoke about OCA’s relatively recent attendance at an event on inclusivity and intersectionality at Yorkshire Sculpture park.

 

We spoke about the importance of flexibility within the materials and how this will mean we can be adaptable adding in, taking out, and so on as new research is undertaken and new work is made. Students fed back to the EDI group, that the current materials do allow students to undertake their own enquiry however, OCA recognises, as do the EDI group, that we need to meet halfway. Materials should, and will, be broad in focus, to ensure everyone is directed and not just self-directed.

 

The subject of visibility and how students have become more visible was raised. This was looked at not only in terms of representation but also regarding group work, face to face meetings, online presence, Programme Leaders contacting students and creating communities. The question ‘what platforms work?’ was raised. There is clearly more discussion to be had here. The Student Association is looking to create a central space for students to congregate, which is welcome. Getting platforms right is important. How do we ensure those who are not visible or whose voices are quiet can be heard and become part of the conversation and community? Student ambassadors/advocates were suggested. Students Association are looking into this.

 

We spoke about Edge Magazine and other magazines at OCA, and how these could be brought into the discussion, we agreed it would be good for the editors/ a representation from the magazine to attend the next meeting. We also discuss communication and just how difficult it is to find things; we will invite OCA Marketing officer to the next meeting.

 

The meeting ended with an outline of the plans for a new induction process at OCA, which aims to build a community and give students a sense of belonging. You will hear more about this through the student association and OCA comms.

 

We will keep this conversation going and perhaps make a decision on the groups remit during our next meeting which will happen at 2pm on Wednesday 28th April. Joining the meeting will be Doug Burton, Programme Leader for Creative Arts and Joanne Mulvihill-Allen, Academic Development Officer and Emily Hughes Marketing and Communications Officer. I will also send the editors of Edge magazine an invite to the meeting. This way we can look at diversity at a specific programme level, in relation to study events and through the lens of an OCA student publication.

 

28 April 2pm

You can join us by following this link:

https://learn.oca.ac.uk/mod/zoom/view.php?id=11835

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Posted by author: Moira Lovell
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