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What can be learned from a business case approach

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What can be learned from a business ... WP as an outcome - student diversity. Approaches to WP ... Other activities such as research being more highly valued ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What can be learned from a business case approach


1
What can be learned from a business case approach?
  • Kath Bridger
  • Jenny Shaw

2
What we learned about
  • widening participation and student diversity
  • the business case approach
  • benefits and costs of WP/student diversity
  • higher education in the UK

3
Widening participation
  • A portmanteau term (Watson, 2006)
  • It may be
  • A desired outcome
  • A process, activity or set of activities
  • A type of student
  • WP as an outcome - student diversity

4
Approaches to WP
  • Sands (1998) Attitudes
    cultural restorationists modernisers liberals
  • Layer (2002) Models join the club different
    provision take it to the people ..
  • Jones and Thomas (2005) Discourses academic
    utilitarian transformative

5
Different approaches to WP
6
Why engage with a WP agenda?
  • Because we have to? (Legal arguments)
  • Because we want to? (Ethical arguments)
  • Because it is in our interests? (Business case
    arguments)

7
The business case approach
  • Diversity paradigm
  • Difference asset
  • Internal arguments
  • Model for change

8
Benefits of student diversity
  • Increased student numbers
  • Tapping the pool of talent
  • Improving teaching and learning
  • Access to funding
  • New roles and markets
  • Complying with legislation
  • Reputation

9
Costs and risks
  • Additional cost of supporting the learning
    experience
  • Costs of low retention (links to funding model)
  • New course development (for new student markets)
  • Academic standards
  • Diverting funding from core business

10
Barriers
  • Internal barriers context specific, e.g.
  • Other activities such as research being more
    highly valued
  • Institutional history and perceptions held by
    prospective students (and some staff!)
  • Fear of adverse effect on existing student
    cohorts (students also flagged this)
  • External barriers, e.g. funding system

11
Critical success factors
  • Senior staff commitment
  • Mission commitment - this is what we are
  • Existing student body

12
Summary learning points
  • Business case approach is helpful diversity
    paradigm clarity of investment and return
  • There are benefits of student diversity -
    requires further investigation
  • Stratification of HE correlates with different
    approaches to diversity - possibly different
    lived experiences for students
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