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Beyond Equal Access to Equal Outcomes: The Role of the Institutional Culture in Promoting Full Participation, Positive Inter-Group Interaction and Timely Progression for Minority Social Work Students

Fletcher, Joan; Bernard, Claudia A.; Fairtlough, Anna and Ahmet, Akile. 2013. Beyond Equal Access to Equal Outcomes: The Role of the Institutional Culture in Promoting Full Participation, Positive Inter-Group Interaction and Timely Progression for Minority Social Work Students. British Journal of Social Work, n/a, n/a. ISSN 0045-3102 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper is based on the first national qualitative study to examine diversity and progression within social work programmes in England, focusing on the experiences of disabled, black and ethnic minority and lesbian, gay and bisexual students. Data collected from ninety-five students and twenty-three social work education providers across eight higher education institutions (HEIs) suggested an institutional effect on rates of progression, linked to the degree of orientation towards systemic change. The study found that social work educators tended to place more emphasis on ‘equality of access’ than ‘equality of outcomes’, resulting in a lack of focus on other aspects of the student life cycle such as inter-group dynamics and rates of progression through the programme and into employment. This paper highlights the importance of a ‘transformational’ organisational change approach to creating an institutional culture where students from minority groups feel welcome and can thrive. Leadership, monitoring and an institution-wide sense of collective responsibility for diversity and equality policy implementation emerged as key to creating a more inclusive environment, alongside equipping staff to take a pro-active role in facilitating high-quality, respectful interaction between different members of the HEI community.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bct081

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)

Dates:

DateEvent
2013Published

Item ID:

8979

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 11:20

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2017 08:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/8979

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