Intersectionality and Student Services: thinking and doing differently
As Student Services leaders in higher education we’re used to thinking about the needs and perspectives of different student groups, particularly the protected characteristics of ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and gender. But every student is different, and these categories overlap, blend, clash and change over the student’s journey.
AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:
This professional development event explores how we can appreciate, embrace and anticipate our students’ intersectionality and think about diversity in a more meaningful way. Join us to discuss different perspectives on intersectionality in order to help you raise awareness, guide your teams and design your services to better reflect and support your students.
All delegates will receive a recording of the event afterwards, as well as any presentations or resources. The recording won't include discussion sessions, workshops, ‘Chatham House rule’ sections or presentation sessions that speakers prefer not to share in this way.
Location, time and price
This online session takes place on Friday 4 December 2020 from 09:00 to 13:30 (GMT) using Zoom.
Here are the delegate prices:
- AMOSSHE named member - £59 (log in to access this rate)
- Non-member (other employees of an AMOSSHE member organisation, individuals, not-for-profit and corporate organisations, higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £99
You don’t need to pay VAT for AMOSSHE events. Before you book to attend, please read our revised booking terms and conditions.
Programme and speakers
This event features a mix of presentations, Q&A, interactive workshops and networking discussion. Here's the programme:
||Welcome and context
AMOSSHE Executive Members Rotimi Akinsete (Associate Dean of Students - Wellbeing & Inclusion, University of the Arts, London) and Claire Slater (Director of Student Life and Wellbeing, University of Bristol) outline the context for the event.
||Keynote: an intersectional approach to student support
Amatey Doku is a consultant at Nous Group, an international consultancy with expertise in higher education. Prior to joining Nous, Amatey was Vice President Higher Education at the National Union of Students, leading on work to tackle the BAME attainment gap. This culminated in the #ClosingTheGap report, a collaboration between NUS and Universities UK. Amatey continues to contribute to discussions on race in higher education and earlier this year chaired a Black Lives Matter webinar as part of the Wonkhe@Home series.
||Questions and answers with Amatey.
||Losing sight of Black women in intersectional student data
An intersectional approach to student data offers huge potential to Student Services staff that wish to address individual and structural inequalities in the higher education sector. In this presentation, Kevin Guyan (Researcher, Advance HE) underscores the specific history of intersectionality (developed by and for Black women), the multiple ways it materialises in higher education data practices and how our actions need to acknowledge and honour intersectionality’s radical roots. When the term intersectionality is used to document the inequalities of ‘white working class boys’ (without a similar focus on Black working class girls) or as a byword for equality, diversity and inclusion topics that are ‘complicated’, what is lost along the way? Using data from Advance HE’s 2020 student statistical report, Kevin turns a critical eye to how intersectionality is understood and performed among EDI data practitioners. With a focus on practical actions for Student Services staff to implement in their day-to-day work, this presentation offers a moment to pause, take stock of the work we are doing, ask whose interests are served and implement change when actions are not helping the right people.
||Questions and answers with Kevin.
||Intersectionality, faith and chaplaincy
Rabbi Alex Goldberg (Coordinating Chaplain, University of Surrey) looks at how the Religious Life and Belief Centre at the University of Surrey has been looking at modernising Chaplaincy through the lens of intersectionality: how recruitment, delivery of services and the integration of Chaplaincy into the university has been led with an approach to widening service and creating a sense of inclusivity and community. Modern Chaplaincy is catering for diverse communities and needs to expand its services to those of faith and non-faith, to those from diverse cultural, ethnic, faith and belief backgrounds whilst being inclusive of students of all genders and sexual orientations. Whilst Chaplaincy has always catered for students and staff, the higher education sector increasingly has a diversity of student age profile that has also led to changes. This short session explores this, of how the University of Surrey increasingly celebrates diverse communities and how we can produce a pathway to the future.
||Questions and answers with Alex.
||The role of UCAS in supporting students from diverse backgrounds
UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) strongly believes that a student's personal circumstances or characteristics shouldn't create barriers when they are considering higher education. This presentation, led by Nicola Turner (Policy Executive, UCAS) gives an overview of the work UCAS is doing to support students in getting the support they need, raising awareness with teachers and advisers on how they can support their journey better, and how UCAS is supporting the sector to understand how characteristics and circumstances can intersect to create hidden challenges.
||Questions and answers with Nicola.
||Intersectionality and race: a new approach for higher education Student Services
We all hold multiple social identities simultaneously, such as race or ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, religion and sexual orientation. All of these characteristics shape how we experience everyday life and for students from marginalised backgrounds, these identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. This presentation by Robiu Salisu (Student Inclusion Officer (BAME), University of Bristol) explores the importance of adopting an intersectional lens to form a new approach when supporting students. The session provides examples of intersectional approaches taken at the University of Bristol, and you'll be encouraged to think about your own institution and how you can re-examine and adjust your practice to better support students.
||Questions and answers with Robiu.
||Understanding and enhancing the LGBT student experience: workshop
Despite changes in the law over the years, LGBT students continue to face major challenges affecting their studies, attainment, employability and wellbeing. This workshop, led by Sean Russell (LGBTQ HE Consultant and Founder, Get Out Stay Out) and Ross Strong (Stonewall Project Manager, Birmingham City University) is about understanding the varied LGBT experience, especially in the context of intersectionality, and how Student Services can be more inclusive by examining the student life-cycle through an LGBT lens. You will gain a better understanding of the issues facing students including commuter, overseas, undergraduate, postgraduate and across all the disciplines, and consider good practice from other higher education providers. We’ll examine the pressures of juggling multiple identities, particularly being ‘out’ to some groups of friends / colleagues / family, but not to others. The workshop will also look at strategies for enabling change, leading teams and influencing upwards.
||Discussion and panel
Rotimi Akinsete and Claire Slater lead a facilitated discussion to share challenges, approaches and ideas about how Student Services can be more responsive to student intersectionality. Then the speakers from the day answer your questions.
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash