Guidelines for Creating a Widening Participation Policy for Student Groups

Created by Eleanor Addison, Modified on Tue, 12 Dec 2023 at 03:31 PM by Eleanor Addison

Introduction: Student groups within Swansea University Student Union (SU) have a significant role in promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equal access to opportunities. This guide aims to assist student groups in developing their own Widening Participation (WP) Policy. This policy will serve as a dynamic document to identify barriers, foster inclusivity, and establish action plans to address challenges faced by underrepresented students. 

1. Acknowledging the Importance of Inclusivity: Begin your policy by emphasizing the significance of inclusivity in creating a supportive and diverse environment within your student group. Highlight how student groups can contribute to helping students overcome feelings of isolation and build a sense of community. 

2. Identifying Barriers:  

a. Encourage your committee members to identify potential barriers that might prevent certain students from fully participating in your group's activities. These barriers could be related to socioeconomic status, race, gender, disability, or any other factors.  

b. Collect feedback from your current members and potential participants to gain insights into any challenges they might have faced. 

3. Crafting Action Points:  

a. Based on the identified barriers, create specific action points that your student group aims to address. These action points should outline the steps your committee will take to make your group more inclusive and accessible.  

b. Develop strategies that cater to each barrier, such as providing resources, adjusting event formats, or collaborating with other student groups. 

4. Promoting Equal Opportunities:  

a. State your commitment to providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their background.  

b. Highlight your intention to create an environment where students can feel safe, valued, and respected. 

5. Outreach and Engagement:  

a. Describe how your student group plans to engage with underrepresented student communities and encourage their participation.  

b. Mention any outreach initiatives, such as workshops, awareness campaigns, or collaborative events, that your group will organize. 

6. Financial Accessibility:  

a. If applicable, detail any measures your student group will take to ensure financial constraints do not hinder participation.  

b. Mention any initiatives to provide discounted or free access to your group's events or activities. 

7. Inclusive Activities and Events:  

a. Explain how your student group will ensure that all activities and events are designed to be inclusive and accessible to a wide range of participants.  

b. Outline any plans for accommodating different needs, including those of students with disabilities. 

8. Continuous Improvement:  

a. Stress the importance of regularly reviewing and revising your WP Policy to keep up with changing needs and challenges.  

b. Encourage feedback from your members and participants to identify areas for improvement. 

9. Collaboration and Awareness:  

a. Highlight your willingness to collaborate with other student groups, university departments, and the SU to collectively promote inclusivity.  

b. Detail any plans for organizing awareness campaigns or workshops to educate your members about the importance of diversity and inclusivity. 

10. Implementation and Review:  

a. Explain how your student group will implement the action points outlined in the policy.  

b. Specify a timeline for reviewing the policy's effectiveness and making necessary adjustments. 

By following these guidelines and tailoring them to your student group's specific context, you can create a robust Widening Participation Policy that reflects your commitment to inclusivity and equal access within Swansea University SU. 



An example Widening Participation Policy can be found here: 


Swansea University Canoe Club Widening Participation Policy 

Introduction: Swansea University Canoe Club is dedicated to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where all students have equal opportunities to engage in canoeing activities and develop their skills. Our Widening Participation (WP) Policy outlines our commitment to breaking down barriers, promoting inclusivity, and ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, feel comfortable and empowered to participate in our club's activities. 

1. Equal Opportunities and Inclusion: a. Swansea University Canoe Club will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or exclusion based on race, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, age, religion, or any other protected characteristic. b. We will use inclusive language and practices in all our communications and activities to create a safe and welcoming space for all participants. 

2. Identifying Barriers:  

a. We will actively seek feedback from our members and potential participants to identify any barriers that might prevent certain students from joining or fully participating in our club.  

b. The committee will regularly review and assess the barriers to participation and take necessary steps to address them. 

3. Outreach and Engagement:  

a. Swansea University Canoe Club will engage with underrepresented student groups and actively promote our activities to ensure their participation.  

b. We will collaborate with our NGB to help to introduce canoeing as an accessible and enjoyable sport, promoting it to the wider student community. 

4. Financial Accessibility:  

a. We will make efforts to keep our activities affordable and accessible to all students. b. If financial constraints are identified as a barrier, we will explore options for providing subsidies, discounts, or fundraising initiatives. 

5. Inclusive Activities and Events:  

a. We will design our canoeing activities and events with inclusivity in mind, ensuring they cater to a wide range of skill levels and abilities.  

b. All venues and event formats will be chosen to accommodate different needs and ensure a comfortable experience for all participants. 

6. Support and Training:  

a. Swansea University Canoe Club will offer mentorship and support to new members, particularly those who might feel new to the sport or university environment.  

b. We will try to provide training opportunities for our members to become more knowledgeable about diversity and inclusion, enabling them to contribute positively to our club's atmosphere. 

7. Continuous Improvement:  

a. Our club will regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of our WP Policy, seeking input from members and participants.  

b. We will be open to making necessary adjustments to our policy and practices to ensure ongoing improvement. 

8. Collaboration and Awareness:  

a. Swansea University Canoe Club will collaborate with other student groups, university departments, and the SU to collectively promote inclusivity across campus. b. We will organize awareness campaigns and workshops to educate our members about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and the goals of our WP Policy. 

9. Review and Implementation:  

a. The committee will ensure the successful implementation of our WP Policy's action points.  

b. Our WP Policy will be reviewed annually to assess its impact and relevance, and any changes will be communicated to all members. 

By adhering to this Widening Participation Policy, Swansea University Canoe Club aims to create an environment where every student can enjoy the benefits of canoeing, make lasting friendships, and contribute to the diversity of our community. 


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