New report on Grade inflation by the Office for Students
The report has already been criticised for the obvious reason – it describes as “unexplained” all improvements in student degree outcomes that are not linked to prior attainment or student background. The UUK/QAA report last month said improvement was “unexplained” if it wasn’t attributable (according to their methodology) by improvements in SSR, expenditure as well as UCAS scores. And they are running a consultation.
The language used by the OfS is also reflective of the mood music at the moment – it’s “spiralling” grade inflation. Nothing to do with hard work improving outcomes, particularly for those from backgrounds that haven’t always had straightforward access or a straightforward road to success university. (more…)
A busy week in politics, and for policy too. Not looking any quieter as we approach the end of the year, either. We will do a short update next week because the ONS report on student loan accounting is due and there are likely to be interesting reflections on that through the week.
Student loans and accounting
Ahead of the big ONS announcement on Monday about accounting for student loans, there is a House of Commons library report: Student loans and the Government’s deficit
Following concerns from parliamentary committees, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is re-examining how student loans are recorded in the Government’s deficit (which is the difference between the Government’s spending and its revenues from tax receipts and other sources). The ONS will announce its decision on 17 December 2018. (more…)
Two days ago the Open Access journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth published an important article on women with disabilities and their experiences with the maternity services when pregnant . The new paper ‘Dignity and respect during pregnancy and childbirth: a survey of the experience of disabled women’ has been co-authored by BU’s Dr. Jenny Hall (Centre for Excellence in Learning/CEL) and Prof. Vanora Hundley (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health/CMMPH) in collaboration with Dr. Bethan Collins (formerly of BU and now based at the University of Liverpool) and BU Visiting Faculty Jillian Ireland (Poole NHS Foundation Trust). The project was partially funded by the charity Birthrights and Bournemouth University.
Women’s experiences of dignity and respect in childbirth revealed that a significant proportion of women felt their rights were poorly respected and that they were treated less favourably because of their disability. The authors argue that this suggests that there is a need to look more closely at individualised care. It was also evident that more consideration is required to improve attitudes of maternity care providers to disability and services need to adapt to provide reasonable adjustments to accommodate disability, including improving continuity of carer.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
- Jenny Hall, Vanora Hundley, Bethan Collins & Jillian Ireland (2018) Dignity and respect during pregnancy and childbirth: a survey of the experience of disabled women, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 18:328
On the 11th April Dr Andrea Padilla-Munoz from the University of Rosario, Bogota, Colombia will be visiting Bournemouth University. Andrea is a qualified lawyer and academic with an interest in ageing, human rights, disability and inclusion.
During her visit, she is keen to meet with other BU academics to explore potential future collaborations. To support this, I will be hosting a workshop on the 11th April in the Fusion Building, F111 from 11am-1pm, where Andrea will provide an overview of her research. There will also be time to discuss future research ideas with her over tea and coffee.
If you are interested in attending please let me know, so I have an idea of numbers and can book refreshments accordingly. Alternatively, if you are unable to make the workshop but would like to meet with Andrea, let me know and we can arrange something.
On 26th September the branch of the RCM in Southampton held a study day dedicated to considering human rights concerns in maternity care. It was attended by over 50 practitioners from across the region. Topics covered included a workshop by the human rights in maternity charity, Birthrights, and speakers from Barnados and Stop the Traffik. These latter presenters provided thought provoking, and somewhat harrowing, evidence for the need for awareness of sexual exploitation in young people, and trafficking of humans in our areas of practice. In addition Dr Jenny Hall (pictured right) from CEL and Jillian Ireland, visiting researcher in CMMPH, discussed the human rights of women with disability, based on current research partially funded by Birthrights, undertaken with colleagues Professor Vanora Hundley and Dr Bethan Collins from Liverpool University.
It was an intense event that demonstrated the importance of discussing and researching these aspects of current midwifery care.
Gender & Sexuality in the 21st Century
31 May 2017, 10:00 – 15:00
‘Unimaginable a decade ago, the intensely personal subject of gender identity has entered the public square.’—National Geographic (Jan 2017)
This openness to discussion of sexuality, gender, and emotion begins to expose this latest generation’s ambivalence, even dissonance regarding these terms. The workshop will explore this, both historically and within the contemporary culture of the 21st Century.
The workshop will gather academics and community representatives from within BU and beyond, whose work may help us to understand more fully contemporary takes on sexuality, gender, and emotion. These may include:
- Youth and Sexuality
- Sex Tourism
- Sex Trafficking
- Disability and Sexual Well-being
- Sexuality and Ageing
- Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace
- LGBTQ+ concepts of gender and sexuality
- Other issues we haven’t even considered yet?
We will spend the day learning informally about each other’s interests and previous work around sexuality, gender, and emotion, thus creating the beginnings of new partnerships for further exploration, discovery, research, dissemination, and community action. NO lectures!
Workshop organised by Dr Kip Jones, Director, Centre for Qualitative Research, BU and Dr Lee-Ann Fenge, Deputy Director, National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work, BU.
Free lunch provided, places are limited.
Did you know that more people play disability football than rugby league in the UK?
The pinnacle of disability sport is the Paralympic Games, and Bournemouth University are pleased to announce some of the major figures in disability football are coming to Disability History month. Both the GB/England captains will be sharing their stories- Keryn Seal (Blind captain) and Jack Rutter (Cerebral Palsy captain), as well as several members of the Rio 2016 Cerebral Palsy Paralympic Football squad (James Blackwell, Liam Irons, Giles Moore, Emyle Rudder). Accompanying them will be Jeff Davis who is National Elite Development Manager for disability football at the Football Association. Jeff has also led the GB football squads at three Paralympic Games, in his role as Performance Director at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympics.
The talk is part of Disability History Month 2006 and will take place on 5 December 2016, 17:00-18:00
The Disability History Month is a result of collaboration between Bournemouth Univetsity (BU) and Students’ Union Bournemouth University (SUBU).
Look out for #bued1617 hashtag for programme and talk updates.
Click Here to register for this event.
Last month’s press release for the latest study in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) was picked up by the Journal of Family Health. The study ‘Human rights and dignities: Experience of disabled women during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting’ appeared under the heading ‘Maternity care failing disabled women, charity warns’ in the Journal of Family Health. The charity in question is Birthrights which funded the survey of women with physical or sensory impairment or long-term health conditions and their maternity care experiences. The research was conducted by midwifery researchers Jenny Hall, Jillian Ireland and Vanora Hundley at Bournemouth University and occupational therapist Bethan Collins, at the University of Liverpool.
Last month this important study had already been reported by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on their webpages (click here to read more). On the RCM website Louise Silverton Director for Midwifery at the RCM said: “It is deeply disappointing to hear that women with disabilities are not getting the maternity care they need and deserve. Although this is only a small survey, it does provide a very valuable insight into the realties of the care these women have received while pregnant. The RCM believes that maternity services should treat disabled women like every other woman, while ensuring that the care provided does not ignore or overreact to their specific wishes and aspirations.”
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Birthrights, a national charity for the rights of women during pregnancy and childbirth has today launched the interim report of a study undertaken by staff from Bournemouth University and the University of Liverpool, about the experiences of disabled women during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.
The current work arises following their 2013 Dignity in Childbirth survey which highlighted less positive experiences of women who identified themselves as disabled (Birthrights 2013). In response, Birthrights commissioned research to explore the experiences of disabled women throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the first few post-natal weeks (the pregnancy continuum). A multidisciplinary team, comprising of Dr Jenny Hall, Jilly Ireland and Professor Vanora Hundley from CMMPH and Dr Bethan Collins from the University of Liverpool, have just completed the first phase of the study, which has been released by Birthrights as an interim report today. This first phase of the study used an online survey to identify experiences of women in the UK and Ireland with physical or sensory impairment or long term health conditions during the pregnancy continuum.
Although overall satisfaction with services in general was scored highly by most women, challenges were described in women’s experiences. These included lack of continuity of carer, meaning that women needed to repeat their information again and again; women feeling that they were not being listened to, which reduced their feeling of choice and control; feeling they were treated less favourably because of their disability. More than half of the women (56%) felt that maternity care providers did not have appropriate attitudes to disability. Accessibility of services was also highlighted as poor, in some situations.
These findings resonate with recommendations from the recent maternity services review (National Maternity review 2016), which highlights the importance of personalised care, that is woman-centred, with opportunity for choice and control, and continuity of carer for everyone. The current study highlights how imperative this approach is for disabled women.
A follow-up qualitative study is underway to establish in-depth views and experiences of human rights and dignity of disabled women during the pregnancy continuum to develop our understanding of how best to enable this group. This second phase is due to be completed in Spring 2017.
The Interim report outlining the results from phase 1 is released today by Birthrights and may be found on the CMMPH web site.
From the 26th – 28th May, my supervisor (Dr Huseyin Dogan) and I attended the 2016 Mobility Roadshow at Silverstone (Northamptonshire), where Bournemouth University had a stand thanks to QR funding, as a part of my PhD research. The roadshow is the UK’s original hands-on consumer event that has been showcasing mobility innovation for over 30 years. The roadshow is an annual event that takes place at different venues around the country and this year it was at the Silverstone circuit. The university’s stand was located in the Information Village and was a good opportunity to validate our research in the assistive technology domain with a user community of people with disability as well as manufacturers.
The purpose of the validation was to present the SmartAbility Framework, which considers how technology can support people with disability and addresses the concept of not having a ‘single technology solution to suit all disabilities’. It consists of seven elements; Disabilities, Impairments, Range of Movements, Movement Characteristics, Interaction Mediums, Technologies and Tasks, interlinking aspects of Human Computer Interaction. The roadshow was the first opportunity to validate the framework as it had been developed based on state of the art literature reviews and results from conducted feasibility trials and user experimentations. The validation was performed using a paper-based version of the framework and involved the participants/manufacturers completing the first four elements, to describe how their disabilities affect their Range of Movement. The knowledge contained within the framework was then used to provide recommendations of suitable Interaction Mediums and Technologies that could potentially improve their quality of life. Each participant completed a questionnaire to provide their views on the framework. In addition to the validation, we demonstrated Smartglasses (a Recon Jet), to assess the usability for people with disability.
Over the 3 days of the roadshow, we had 36 participants that all provided positive feedback, therefore, proving the usefulness of the framework. Improvements were also suggested from some of the participants which will be used to enhance the framework. The technology recommendations were helpful as a number of the participants were not aware of some of the technologies. Not all participants were able to use the Smartglasses due to impaired vision or finger dexterity. However, the participants who were able to interact enjoyed the experience as it was new to them.
The roadshow exhibits a range of products for people with disability as well as adapted cars and wheelchair accessible vehicles. As the roadshow was at Silverstone, visitors had the opportunity to test drive a range of vehicles around 2 laps of the short National circuit. This was an opportunity not to be missed and when I wasn’t manning our stand, I test drove a range of vehicles including a Ford EcoSport and BMW 2-series. Unfortunately, there was a 40 mph speed limit imposed on the circuit (for safety reasons), but one of the instructors allowed me to do 50 mph on the Hanger straight and follow the racing line on the corners! I chose to have the final test drive slot on the last day and was able to do 5 laps as the instructor didn’t want to clear up in the pits!
Overall, attending the Mobility Roadshow was an enjoyable experience and provided valuable results and knowledge for the final stage of my PhD, which I am aiming to complete in November. The future research activities will involve validation with domain experts from computing and healthcare and designing for the SmartAbility Framework to be exploited as a smartphone application. There is also the small task of writing up my thesis…
Young people working to change perceptions of disability through poetry and performance
A collaboration between the Media School (Dr Caroline Hodges), the School of Health and Social Care (Wendy Cutts & Dr Lee-Ann Fenge) and Victoria Education Centre, Poole.
In February of this year, we were awarded funding from the BU Fusion Fund to begin work on the ‘Seen But Seldom Heard’ project. ‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ is an innovative ‘arts activism’ project through which young people living with a physical disability (aged 14-19 years) can engage in creative activities designed to encourage them to reflect on their lived experiences and to empower them to challenge societal perceptions of disability through poetry and performance. The performance poetry work which has been supported by professional poets, Liv Torc and Jonny Fluffypunk, also offers the group of budding young poets a ‘voice’ to participate in conversations regarding policies and practices which affect them.
The project has so far resulted in a series of co-produced performances including a Paralympics venue in Weymouth as part of the Cultural Olympiad supporting headline performance poet, John Hegley, and The Bridport Open Book Festival, the largest performance poetry event in the country. The performances were an important way to engage with the general public and positively influence perceptions of disability and we hope to stage similar events during 2013. We have also produced a book of the group’s poetry (the sale of which has paid for an additional 2 poetry workshops at the school) and a full-length documentary will be premiered at BU on the afternoon of December 7th as part of Disability History Month.
There have been a number of beneficiaries from the work. First and foremost the young people who have taken part, together with their peer group at Victoria Education Centre. The project has had such a profound impact upon pupils and staff that the school is raising funds for a ‘poet in residence’ to support future performance poetry activity. In direct response to posting a ‘taster’ of the Seen But Seldom Heard documentary on YouTube (attracting 1,500 views to date from as far afield as Australia, the US and South America), we have received emails and comments from others with direct experience of disability, disability activists, educationalists and care providers thanking and encouraging the young poets and the project team for providing aspiration and positive role models.
In the next phase of the project, which we hope to commence as soon as funding is secured, we also plan to develop a ‘live schools tour’ and audio-visual educational package for use in secondary schools and youth clubs to raise awareness amongst young people of what it is like to live with a physical disability. In addition to public engagement and education activity, we are also disseminating the project outcomes and methodology through seminars and conference presentations during 2013 and journal articles.
A short preview to the full-length documentary can be viewed at: http://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/seen-but-seldom-heard/2012/09/25/documentary-taster/
For more information on the December 7th film screening and to confirm your attendance please visit:
Samples of the group’s poetry can be found at: http://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/seen-but-seldom-heard
This Friday marks the 2nd event in the series of “Seen but Seldom Heard” events that are helping to give young disabled people a voice through poetry. Taking place in the Marconi Lecture Theater at Talbot Campus this event features voices of professional performance poets alongside the students from the Victoria Education Centre performing their work.
‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ is an on-going collaboration between academics from Bournemouth University, pupils from Victoria Education Centre and performance poets, Liv Torc and Jonny Fluffypunk, which enables young people living with a disability to find a voice through poetry. The teenagers involved have produced potent and emotive poems which explore perceptions and representations of disability within society using their own individual and collective experiences. Find out more on their website along with examples of poems produced by the young people and a taste of what the event will involved.
After the stunning success of their inaugural event at the ICCI360 Arena in Weymouth you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to see these performances so please RSVP now to reserve your place! The performance will begin at 5:00pm and will be followed by a drinks reception where a poetry book will also be available for purchase with proceeds going towards the funding of a Poet in Residence at Victoria Education Centre.
Where: Marconi Lecture Theatre
When: 5pm Friday 21st September
Cost: Free but you should RSVP now to reserve your place!
You may have seen earlier this month a post about the work being done by BU academics from the Media School and the School of Health and Social Care, working with performance poets to help disabled young people from the Victoria Education Centre have a voice through poetry. This Thursday marks the first showcase of the Paralympic inspired work these students have produced.
Running from 7:30pm – 11:00pm at the ICCI 360 arena in Weymouth, this event includes spoken word, film and performance by young Dorset voices supported by poets John Hegley, Jonny Fluffypunk and Liv Torc in a 360 degree audio-visual spectacle that promises to take poetry to the next level! This is an excellent example of public engagement and looks to be an exciting event so if you’re free come along this Thursday (30th August), tickets are £5, available from the Weymouth Pavilion Box Office.