Organisational Vision at the University of Salford
The University of Salford is committed to the widening participation agenda (WPP);
the University of Salford has been committed for over a decade to attracting to its courses, students who, because of their backgrounds, would not readily have considered higher education, and its widening participation strategy has been evolving over that period.
In the new WPP strategy 'disability' is not mentioned very often, rather the strategy looks at social class, ethnicity, and collaboration with local colleges, employer initiatives. It could be construed that disability issues are an integral aspect of all these initiatives, though to suggest such an important issue is integral or assumed may lead to assumptions that the structure and systems within the University fully support students with disabilities.
It is clear that all HE institutions are undergoing changes to their culture, structures and systems to support students with diverse needs and clarity of actions, sharing knowledge, networking for best practice is the way forward.
On reflection as project lead, and as a person new to the University, I found the University systems need to be understood. As a person with a 'vision' of deaf people as qualified nurses, getting to grips with the more mundane operational side of things is not a motivator for me. However by sharing my visions and what was needed to achieve these with the administrators who provide the vehicles proved valuable.
This process takes time and should really only involve people who are necessary. When too many people are involved good organisational communication is challenged and this can lead to long delays. Knowing who's who in the organisation is critical. Projects such as these rely heavily on good administrators who have a wealth of knowledge and skills in their area and who posses the creativity to manage a system appropriately when it doesn't meet the needs of the project.