Building a Global Community

Introduction:

As part of its international strategy the University of Leeds is working to further develop the sense of global community amongst its staff and students. The International Student Office is key to delivering that. Within the team there is a desire, and from other areas of the University a demand, for them to share their intercultural expertise to build a UoL global community.

Project Brief:

In order to meet this objective the International Student Office needed to:

  • build on their teams’ training and facilitation skills experience and confidence.

  • engage other members of staff across the University to extend their capacity.

  • create a student induction session that was easily accessible for other staff to deliver and would appeal and reach a wider range of both home and international students

“Kathryn was excellent at helping us scope out our training project and understanding our bigger picture so she could offer insightful ideas into how we could take it forward. My team really enjoyed working with her and we’re very pleased with the resources she developed for us.” Katy Manns, Head of International Student Office

The International Student Office and I collaborated to achieve this by:

  • Identifying staff across the University with the potential to take this forward in their areas.

  • Inviting them to attend a Training of Intercultural Trainers workshop, with the option to access additional support to answer questions and practice to further build confidence.

  • Designing a set of training materials and accompanying Facilitators Guide to be used at student induction sessions

  • Providing the opportunity for Student Administration Staff with a remit for induction to attend a demonstration session to see the materials being delivered, and offer feedback.

Outcomes:

  • 32 staff attended Training of Intercultural Trainers

  • 25 staff attended 2 demonstration sessions

  • 9 induction sessions delivered in 4 schools to 300 students by the ISO co-facilitated by in-school staff.

  • 97% of students that attended would recommend the session to others; 24% were from the UK, 71% were international students.

“Thanks to Kathryn, we now have a really user-friendly toolkit that enables our staff to deliver intercultural workshops that students find meaningful and enjoyable.” Jenna Isherwood, Project Manager

As a result of the programme the following intiatives are now being delivered by staff at the University of Leeds

  1. The Student Union has included an Intercultural component in other training sessions such as their summer staff away day, NUS conference and Staff Development Programme.

  2. International Student Office Staff reported increased confidence in running their sessions and were more willing to meet the demands of training in this area from other Schools.

    As a result they have updated and run training for Subwardens, for Language Centre Assistants, and for their Welcome Team Assistants. They have also updated and are in the process of running "Feeling at Home in Leeds" workshops. More trained facilitators means they are able to run 2 sets of these workshops simultaneously. They are also updating and will be delivering Cultural Awareness training to staff across the university

“After participating in Kathryn’s Training of Trainers workshop I not only feel a lot more confident with my own facilitation skills but also in refining the aims and objectives of a session and in thinking on my feet and adapting a session to the needs of a specific group of people.” Rachel Meadley, International Student Offfice.

4. A member of staff from the Language Centre redeveloped training for student Language Group Leaders

5. The University Front Desk Network Coordinator is developing a session on Intercultural Communication for her team

6. One of the Learning Advisers at the library delivered Cultural Awareness training for library customer service staff.

“After participating in Kathryn’s training I felt more equipped to create a safe space within a session and to deal with challenging questions and statements. This has helped me to feel confident in delivering more ambitious training sessions that broached challenging topics and encouraged participants to step out of their comfort zones” Katy Gregg, International Student, Officer

Kathryn EadeUp+thrive