Why we updated our diversity course for universities

Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

29th November 2018

Our diversity course for universities, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, is one of Marshall’s original e-learning courses. The course remains one of the most widely used courses on the subject today and have been recently updated.

We interviewed Michael Howard, Lead Consultant at Marshall E-Learning Consultancy, on the change in approach to diversity training and the future landscape for equality, diversity and inclusion.
 

We’re eight years on from the Equality Act 2010. What’s changed since then?

The landscape around equality, diversity and inclusion – and how universities see their role in these areas – has progressed since the Equality Act was introduced.

Since 2010, our clients have been on a journey working with the Equality Act legislation and enacting it within their workplaces.

But our clients are now moving beyond compliance with legislation and looking to building inclusive organisations that embrace diversity and deliver equality to support their aims and objectives.

This means our diversity training for universities needs to meet these actions too and be accessible to all employees.
 

Why do Marshalls have a separate course for universities?

Universities are part of our society but they also are in a unique position therefore it makes sense to have a specific and focused diversity course for them.
 

What are some of the challenges universities face and does diversity training help?

Different priorities and issues come and go for our clients, but there’s an underlying theme of how we’re dealing with equality, the growth of diversity, and a journey towards more inclusive organisations.

Universities face multifaceted challenges; attracting students, meeting the needs of a diverse student body and workforce, delivering a positive student experience including well being, changes in the regulation of the sector and increasing pressure on income.
 

Why is diversity training still needed?

During the past eight years, there’s been lots of training intervention developed to help universities get to grips with the Equality Act. But what they can’t do is stand still.

The decision to make the training mandatory is for each university but I would recommend that its importance should be made clear to all employees. As with other training we all need to keep up to date so revisiting our learning every 2 or 3 years would be beneficial.

There’s an iterative process of continually building awareness around equality, diversity and inclusion issues, but also looking at things from different perspective and in a new light.

We needed to refresh, renew and reinvigorate our diversity training to make sure that we’re not standing still and can meet the current issues that our clients face in relation to diversity.
 

Should we have different courses for different roles?

No we want to be inclusive not to separate people by the roles they do but we have made sure relevant information for staff types in there.

The course draws everyone in, rather than focussing on particular groups like managers – although managers do play an important part in this area.
 

What has that meant for Marshall E-Learning’s approach to diversity training?

We had to review and evaluate the training that we delivered, in line with client feedback.

We’ve now evolved our diversity training and created a course that maintains what has gone before and reinforces awareness of key diversity and inclusion issues, but also has a more practical approach to the issues that are around diversity in the workplace.
 

How is that reflected in the new diversity training course?

For example, we’ve developed a more blended approach to learning by the introduction of different techniques, including high-quality video scenarios, animation with voice-overs, and making sure the look and feel is up to date and works in the future.

Our diversity training is also cross-device compatible, so learners can take the course in their own time, on the device they choose, wherever they are.

This is why we’ve chosen the strapline “Making it real” for the course.
 

What’s coming next with Marshall’s diversity training?

We will integrate effective video scenarios with actors that demonstrate key learning points in to the training. I have worked with scriptwriters to ensure that the scenarios are realistic and enhance the learning experience.

In the near future we will also be launching a new recruitment course for universities that is another component of building inclusive universities.
 

What future changes do you see in the future landscape for equality, diversity and inclusion?

We’ve got to build on the awareness that has been incorporated within organisations since the Equality Act, to enable people to feel comfortable and have the skills and abilities needed to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is a reality for everyone.

What this will mean in the coming years is an even greater focus within learning and development to give everyone the appropriate levels of skills to be effective in their roles.

This will mean a greater implementation of blended learning so that learning and development in this area will not be seen as a separate delivery mechanism. It will become fully integrated in everything that happens within an organisation.

We believe our new Diversity in the Workplace HE course reflects this and we are confident our clients – both old and new – will find this too.

This course moves us forward as a business from a domestic and international perspective, attracting many Irish universities and an Australian institution becoming a client.
 
For more information and a free demo of the Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education course please contact David Marshall on 0845 123 3909 or contactus@marshallacm.co.uk, or visit marshallelearning.com/e-learning-courses/diversity-workplace

 

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