Tag: Placement

International Study Projects

Sheffield Business School (SBS)

Department of Management

Using GoGlobal funding, the Department of Management piloted a study trip to Germany in the summer of 2018 to assess student’s willingness to engage in international field trips. Based on this experience the department organised an international study project to take 45 students from SBS to their partner institution in Botswana. The trip is targeted at Level 5 and 6 students who have not completed a placement. BAME students are less likely to undertake a placement than non-BAME students so this is also part of the departments efforts to help BAME students gain traction with future employers by having something distinct on their CVs. GoGlobal funding enabled the department to give priority to BAME students. 12 BAME students were successful in their applications and were offered places on the trip. However, 4 BAME students declined the offer. It is too early to assess any impact upon placement and graduate outcomes as the trip scheduled for 2019.

For further information contact the project lead Michelle Blackburn, m.blackburn@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Placements Uncovered: Phase 1

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Health and Social Care Departments

A small cross-faculty working group was tasked with organising a staff conference related to BME attainment. On investigation, no significant academic attainment gap for health and social care students was identified, however BME students were over-represented in Fitness for Practice and Academic Misconduct cases, with a higher than expected number of placements fails on some of our programmes. In early 2018 a qualitative project was launched, “Placements Uncovered” which explored the challenges facing BME students when they undertake health and social care placements. Following ethical approval, the project team investigated via several focus groups the challenges of placements seen from the perspectives of BME students, academic staff, clinical supervisors and student union advisors. With data from 8 focus groups, the department now have an emerging picture of the barriers facing BME students and are gaining an insight into the support they require to successfully negotiate their clinical placements. While recognising the small sample involved in this qualitative work, and that some students highlighted positive placement experiences, the findings do nevertheless raise some concerns. They suggest areas for further staff development as well as the need for awareness-raising for students and placement staff.

For further information contact the project lead Jackie Parkin, j.parkin@shu.ac.uk and Julie Nightingale, j.nightingale@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Placement Practitioner Conference

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Within the Health and Social Care departments, a Placement Practitioner conference was held in October 2018 to explore a number of issues relating to BAME students’ experience in practice placements and the relationship to their fitness to practice. The purpose of this conference was to educate practice educators and academic staff on the challenges faced by BAME students in placement. It is intended that the conference will lead to better-informed practice educators and academic staff on issues surrounding fitness to practise and placement experience. To date, the structure for the Placements Practitioners Conference has been agreed and internal and external speakers secured. Student involvement helped to develop several workshops whilst three case studies (from the fitness to practice data) was used to inform these workshops.

The HWB faculty aim to prepare an article for publication which will be of interest to other Higher Education Institutions’ faculties delivering healthcare education.

For further information contact the project lead Jackie Parkin, j.parkin@shu.ac.uk and Julie Nightingale, j.nightingale@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Barriers to applying for taking up placements

Sheffield Business School (SBS)

Department of Finance, Accounting and Business Systems

The aim of this project was to increase the number of BAME students going on placement by implementing an intervention involving PETS (placement employability tutors) and possibly Personal Tutors. This was done through exploring barriers BAME students face when securing placements and by identifying potential solutions to the barriers. The department was unable to fully implement all actions within the timeframe given. However, they aim to achieve full implementation during 2018/19.  As such, the department do not anticipate being able to report any improvement, yet which is directly attributable to work completed in 2017/18.

Given the number of projects being undertaken within the placement area, it is extremely replicable, transferable and scalable.

For further information contact the project lead Diane Jamieson, d.jamieson@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Supporting BAME student teachers through enhanced placement allocation and mentoring support

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Teacher Education (TEd)

Through a combination of mentoring and tailored placement allocation/advice, the project aimed to encourage reduce the time taken to complete placements and/or interrupt or withdraw from their placements. This was done through the implementation of two interventions: a mentoring scheme and a placement allocation and selection. The project outcomes have resulted in the department’s Placement Policy being updated. A number of changes have been made in order to better support BAME students whilst on placement, e.g. early visits, rapid evaluations. In addition to this, a BAME mentoring scheme for BA teacher educations routes has been implemented from September 2018.

Placement policy changes are replicable and compliant with the new general equality duty which was introduced in April 2011.

For further information contact the project lead David Owen, d.h.owen@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Addressing Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity in Curricular Practice

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics (PSP)

The project had four main strands:

1.cultural/diversity critical awareness and reflection for staff (delivered through pilot workshops);
2. decolonising pedagogical practice (through upcoming curriculum review of reading lists, teaching methods etc);
3.review of marketing materials and practices (to increase BAME recruitment; centre a commitment to equality;
4. inclusiveness and representation); placement experiences (review of practice guidelines and student feedback forms).

The project raised staff awareness of issues facing BAME students. It has highlighted how staff need to review and, where necessary, revise their approach to the curriculum in the interests of making it more inclusive and to capture diverse voices. The Department has made a commitment to a thorough critical review of practice over the medium to long term.

It is hoped that the approach to curriculum development work in PSP will be transferable. Although the content of the curricula differs across subject groups, it should still be possible to identify the process, approach and key questions raised in reviewing curricula.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Anjana Raghavan, a.raghavan@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Levelling the placement advantage

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of the Natural and Built Environment (NBE)

The aim of this project was to increase BAME attainment and employability by supporting the uptake of the placement year. To do this the department aimed to identify: the barriers for BAME students going on placement; what support we can put in place to encourage BAME student uptake of placements; if we need to put in place any additional placement support for these students.  An infographic  was produced that highlights the benefits of placements, which students can share with family members and others. In addition, there were a number of support and access issues that were raised in our survey: accessibility to employer jobs; lack of confidence; lack of support; time constraints.

The infographic uses institutional level data and can therefore be used by any department. In addition to this, each department could also add their own student comments to make it more relevant to their courses.

For further information contact the project lead Dave Gubbins, d.gubbins@shu.ac.uk


Placement uptake by BAME Law and Criminology students

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

Department of Law and Criminology

The aim was to establish a baseline as to whether students who identify as BAME take part in placement opportunities across the department. The project initially highlighted that participants were not asked to provide demographic information as part of the placement application process. Therefore, the first step for the project was to establish a robust baseline from which to identify whether there is a gap between BAME students and their white peers in applying for and/or being successful with placement opportunities. The main outcome was the recognition that demographic information had previously not been included within the placement application process. In future, demographic information will enable us to see how many students who have expressed an interest in applying for a placement do in fact go on to:
a) Apply
b) Are shortlisted
c) Are successful at interview.
This requirement for demographic information will be embedded into the application process from 2018/19 onwards

If the placement application process includes demographic information, this project could be replicated across the university for placements which are full-time across one semester. A standard application template including the minimum data requirements that could be accessed centrally would enable this to be transferable across the university thus allowing for analysis across various cohorts of students.

For further information contact the project leads Nichola Cadet (Criminology) n.cadet@shu.ac.uk & Chris Riley (Law) n.cadet@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Barriers to taking up placements

Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts (STA)

Department of Computing

Successful placement experiences potentially contribute to better degree outcomes. For this reason, the aim of the project was to increase the number of BAME students applying for and successfully gaining work placements, by increasing and tailoring support for BAME students when making their placement applications. Interim outcomes have been changes to placement support informed by focus group findings. This highlighted an opportunity to rethink how placement support/ employability skills are delivered and at what stages in the student lifecycle this should take place.  It is proposed that the Department develops support that takes into consideration the individual student’s needs and previous experience rather than the current method employed of “teach everything to everyone”.  As a result, the department is now looking at different ways in which level 5 and 6 students will be able to gain employability skills without having to participate in a formal placement. This will involve including a ‘client-based project’ module on the course.

A proposal to revise current teaching is under review with an objective to pilot the new structure in 2019/20.

For further information contact the project lead Deborah Adshead d.adshead@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

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