Update on the International Students’ Education Campaign!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a brilliant World Week and that studies are going well. I wanted to take a little time out of my day to update you on how the AWESOME campaign to get the University to sit up and pay attention to plagiarism is going.

I met last week with a number of different stakeholders from across the university – including representatives from ELTC, the Student Advice Centre and Student Voice. Together we’re going to put together a report combining a vast range of research, and we’re going to be needing your help.

The first part of the report is going to be creating a map of the plagiarism policy landscape as it stands: both from a University level and across different departmental practices. If you can help by providing me with information on how plagiarism is defined and dealt with in your department, please get in touch.

The second part of the report is going to be focused on what is actually happening. I’m going to analyse data around plagiarism charges in Sheffield each year, and find out exactly how many of them are International Students. I’m also going to try to identify any trends in Nationality (cross-referencing this with stats on general National populations in Sheffield to rule out natural correlation), as well as trends across departments and level of study (Undergraduate/Masters/PhD). Hopefully this will enable us to identify areas of good practice, as well as potentially highlight the places where we’re going wrong.

Next semester, I will need your help. I’ll be sending out a brief questionnaire to help us establish any trends in the situation from your perspective. Did you know what Plagiarism was before you came to Sheffield? What was your understanding of it? Do you feel you have an understanding now? Has that changed? It might be that students from one world region have really great knowledge, and those of you from another really don’t. Hopefully this stage of the research will help us highlight areas of vulnerability so that support in the future can be targeted to the students who need it most.

To go a bit deeper into the issues and find out more from you, we’ll then hold focus groups, so you can share your thoughts and help shape our recommendations.

Finally, the Student Advice Centre are going to help us out with anonymised case studies so that we can establish exactly what it is like to be an international student who is accused of plagiarism.

On the back of ALL of this research, I will then draft a report which we will take to the University’s governing bodies along with some recommendations for what they can do better in the future.

 

If you have any thoughts about this campaign, ideas for what we’re missing that you’d like to see included, or you want to help out as a research assistant, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find my details here, email ISC@Sheffield.ac.uk, find me through the ISC facebook pages or get in contact personally at lpedrick1@sheffield.ac.uk. I can’t wait to hear from you all!

Best wishes,

Lucy Pedrick, ISC Home Rep 2014/15

First #DisableTheLabel campaign

1Friday, 5th of December 2014, I ran my first campaign for the Disabled and Dyslexic portfolio. It was part of a larger event organized by the Disabled and Dyslexic Committee and it was under the umbrella of an Intersectionality Day when representatives from all backgrounds and causes (BME – Black and Ethnic Minorities), LGBT with Mental Awareness, and ISC (International Students’ Committee) all raised awareness about different issues affecting the Disabled and Dyslexic community.

Our main focus was on removing the stigma associated in different parts of the world with disability, hence the title and hashtag DisableTheLabel. There are many International students who have different disabilities or mental problems, however, they are not very involved with the Disabled and Dyslexic Committee. After doing some research, two main causes appeared to be in stake: 1) families with disabled children tend to be overprotective or not confident enough that their children are able to pursue a further education, thus, they are not sent to higher education (especially abroad), 2) where the disability is not that visible, International students tend not to self-identify themselves with being disabled, because their background and subconsciousness associates it with a negative label.

Consequently, the ISC tries to fight against this prejudice and tries to raise awareness about the labelling and stigma around disabled students.campaign D&D We have created a very simple and accessible True/False quizz that mainly brings attention to different aspects of this problem: QUIZZ (click me) . We are very happy to have had people interested in not only taking the quizz but wanting to know more about the problem in itself. And, of course, another highlight of the event in itself – and I want to thank the Disabled and Dyslexic Committee for making this happen – is that all the representative committees have worked together and have joined forces in order to create a bigger and more impactful voice. When we stand by ourselves with our own causes, we are just a handful of people, when we stand together, we are many. So, a big applause to the “togetherness” of the event.

Last, but not least, I would like to draw some attention on another event, this time a nation-wide one, approved by the University and the Union, regarding Mental Health Matters:

The University and the Students’ Union have agreed to sign the Time To Change Pledge, making a commitment to supporting the mental health of University staff and students. On the 8th of December we will have a representative coming in from Time To Change to explain exactly what this campaign is and why it is so important.

We will also have a presentation of the current draft of the University pledge from Tom Harrison, the Welfare Officer, people speaking about their own personal experiences with Mental Health and why the pledge is important to them and information from the Counselling Service.

After the event, you are welcome to come to visit our cake sale, which will be in the Students’ Union raising money for Mental Health Matters two fantastic charities for the year, Changing Faces and STAMP.

It would be as great to see as many people there as possible for this opportunity to find out about this nationwide campaign working to end dangerous stigmas attached to mental health.
Venue : Dainton Building Lecture Theatre 6
Start date Monday 08-12-2014 – 14:00
End date Monday 08-12-2014 – 15:30

And to finish this off, here’s a nice video to watch on a Sunday afternoon: VIDEO (click me).

#DisableTheLabel  2