What did you do to create inclusive practice and how did you do it?
As part of the discovery phase for a student in education business process redesign, interruption of study was identified as an area for review. Consultations were held across the university community, including a ‘Supporting Students World Café’, taking place to gather feedback from multiple stakeholders. Following these consultations, a task and finish group was established to propose policy positions and an interruption of study framework that would include a specific interruption of study policy and procedure. To ensure the policy would capture inclusive practice, an equalities analysis was undertaken to test the policy prior to any subsequent approval through the College’s governance structure.
Why did you implement your example of inclusive practice?
The university mission is to embed equality, diversity and inclusion into everything we do. In this respect we want our policies, practices and processes to empower individuals to be able to contribute fully. The aim of embedding inclusivity within the interruption of study policy was to ensure that support could be provided that met the needs of our diverse student body, equipping them all with the tools for success, supporting their wellbeing and enabling them to achieve their goals and ambitions throughout their course of study and beyond.
What was the impact of your case study?
The policy will be introduced in 2023/24 but we have identified the anticipated outcomes from the objectives:
- Better information for students and improved decision-making processes will promote equality of experience for students.
- More focus on planning and support for students to help them re-engage fully with their programme when they return will promote improved experience for students and make it easier to identify students who may need extra support.
- Improved data collection will help the university identify the groups of students most likely to request an interruption of study, and to focus support accordingly.
What were the lessons learned?
Students can have a negative view of interrupted study. Many see it as some sort of failure. At King’s, we are trying to make interruption a positive tool of support if it is used in the right way with the correct structure and processes underpinning it. We have particularly focused on improved and standardised decision making, where the best interests of the students are central considerations, and on setting up processes that help faculties and departments communicate essential information to students and support them to return and re-engage.