Place Category: Education & Training
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
Cardiff Metropolitan University is a thriving and modern university, located in the lively capital city of Wales. In September 2017, we became the first Higher Education Institution in Wales to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.
Integral to the city of Cardiff for more than 150 years, we continue to invest in our students’ future with a focus on student employability and enhancing the student experience; providing education and training opportunities of the highest quality to students from over 140 countries worldwide.
Our objective is to develop creative, resilient and sought-after graduates with aptitudes, skills and experiences that enable them to make an impact in their chosen profession or pathway. With our business-orientated approach Cardiff Metropolitan University focuses on the needs of industry, commerce, public and voluntary sector organisations. Our strong research and teaching base provide the platform for the development of a wide range of services relevant to many types of industries.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated February 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
At Cardiff Metropolitan University, we are committed to ensuring people of any age, background or ethnic group have a fair and equal opportunity to study and support to reach their full potential.
Through our Community engagement work, we aim to raise confidence, self-esteem and aspirations, tackling poverty, by upskilling the community, reducing isolation, improving community cohesion and improving health & wellbeing.
Our initial engagement is via our introductory taster sessions which are non-accredited which are provided free of charge and can lead to the level 3, 10 credit accredited modules which are also free. Successful completion of these modules can lead to a place on the foundation programmes for those learners who do not have the traditional A levels.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
- Free taster/introductory courses to engage, raise confidence and aspirations.
- Free accredited modules to provide progression from the taster courses and provide those without traditional qualifications a route into Cardiff Met through the foundation programmes.
- Provided free ‘How to apply’ information and advice.
- Promoting courses available at Cardiff Met.
- Providing support to schools and community partners with courses like Strengthening School Governance.
- Providing Introduction to IELTS courses to help asylum seekers and refugees improve their English language to integrate into their communities and progress to Higher Education.
- Free summer school with over 20 courses.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Hundreds of community members have benefitted by attending the free courses, delivered in their local areas at communities throughout Cardiff. We run the courses during term times and at times convenient for participants to drop off and collect children from School.
Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Widening Access team has a strong record of providing outreach adult learning opportunities in the community and encouraging engagement in Higher Education from areas of multiple deprivation. (previously Community First Areas).
By engaging non-traditional learners in this way, we initially offered various taster courses and introductory short courses to learners. Feedback from those who attending reported that learners were inspired to attend University but needed more of a stepping-stone or pathway – a taster course was too big of a jump into an undergraduate programme.
We acknowledged and considered this and worked with academic schools across Cardiff Met to develop a Community to Campus programme. This now offers progression from the taster courses to various 10-credit, Level-3 accredited modules which are delivered in community settings and are provided free of charge.
Learners who successfully complete one of these modules are then encouraged to progress and apply to the Foundation programme before moving to an Undergraduate programme.
Learners are also invited to attend a free two-week Summer School that offers over 20 Free non-accredited taster courses delivered on campus. This allows learners to get a feel for the University and life as a student. An accredited module is available as part of their Summer School experience, through a 10-credit Reflective Skills module.
Many have learned new skills, some have progressed to the accredited modules and over 100 people have now been able to access higher education through these pathways since they were introduced.
We work closely with community partners, housing offices and many other providers and the voluntary sector to complement their existing provision and provide progression for participants.
We have also run a course at HMP Prescoed Prison with a view of bringing down the reoffending rates by giving prisoners the opportunity to study enabling them to continue their education upon release. Three of these ex-offenders are now studying at Cardiff Met.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
The students’ complete initial assessment forms at the start of the course and evaluations at the end to record progress and the Tutor reflects upon the course. We also track progression from the taster/introductory courses to accredited modules and then the foundation and undergraduate programme.
We compile ‘Learner Journeys’ where students recall their own learning journey and the difference learning has made to them and their families.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
Last year the University’s Widening Access team collaborated with Cardiff Met academics and community partners to deliver:
- 50 non-accredited taster/introductory courses and 9 accredited modules.
- 816 learners accessed these courses
- 67 learners passed the accredited course assessments
- 29 enrolled on a foundation course at Cardiff Met
- 15 progressed to PGCE/PCET teaching qualification
- 7 progressed from the IELTS provision to Masters/post graduate courses.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Learner Journeys - http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/partnerships/wideningaccess/Pages/journeys.aspx
Sixty-two-year-old second year Psychology Undergraduate Beryl O’Brien began working with the Widening Access team when she took part in several Summer Schools. The mother of three says: “At High School, my attainments left a lot to be desired - quite frankly, I could not wait to leave; which I did one month before my 15th birthday in 1970.
“Higher education was only attainable for those who could afford it during the 70s. In any case, I was not deemed to be ‘clever’ enough as, although I got off to a ‘flying start’ in primary school, I went on to achieve only average grades. I was married and gave birth to my first child by the age of 20, and returned to full time employment soon after.”
Beryl became her widowed mother’s main support and the sole wage earner of the family due to her husband’s mental illness. She says: “I attended several Summer School courses, organised by Widening Access, and which I couldn’t have imagined would have been so enjoyable. Apart from the experience of learning within a university setting, the friends and acquaintances made along the way, made it all the more worthwhile. The tutors were delightfully friendly, and the courses were so interesting that I was quite sad when they ended.
“After Summer School ended I enrolled on a Psychology outreach course – just out of personal interest…however, this course resulted in my enrolment on the Social Science Foundation course at Cardiff Met. To make matters even more amazing, I am the first person in my family to attend university, and also I will be graduating in the same year as my granddaughter!”
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
All courses are provided free of charge in the community along with the course resources. A two-week summer school runs every year with over 20 free courses. This year it will be run during the Festival of Learning (Previously Adult Learners week).
We also provide an advice and guidance session as part of this for those thinking of applying to University.
We provide free library use for all community members.
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
All of the widening access courses are provided free of charge, both the non-accredited and the accredited modules along with the resources needed for the courses.
We provide free conversational classes to support asylum seekers and refugees along with introductory IELTS classes, which enable those with English as a second language to integrate into the community better and improve their English language to a level where they can access Higher Education. Each of these courses cost approx. £1,100 per term and we run two per term. We work with the school of education who encourage the English Language students studying here to provide conversational classes to support this learning and gives our students experience of teaching within the community.
We provide support to partner organisations and the voluntary sector at events like complementary therapy sessions or taster sessions.
We have links with Prescoed Prison and provide free courses for prisoners to improve their chances of rehabilitation on release and reduce the reoffending rates.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
We have established a football team with asylum seekers and refugees from the Oasis Centre and have provided basic kit to enable them to play with the staff team here at Cardiff Met.