Podcasting workshop highlighted at Equity Conference

An innovative podcasting workshop that Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) ran for Black African students was the subject of a presentation at this year’s ‘Equity in Education and Society’ annual conference. 

Organised by the Institute for Educational & Social Equity, at York St John University, the event started with a warm welcome from Professor Karen Bryan, OBE, Vice-Chancellor of York St John University, and Professor Paul Miller, Director of the Institute for Educational & Social Equity. This was followed with a keynote from Professor Sir Paul Grice, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, and several concurrent sessions from academics and widening participation practitioners from across the country. 

The presentation I co-delivered with Jenny Scannell (GHWY Area Manager and Project Officer) focused on our commitment to fostering a more inclusive educational landscape. Our project, initiated in April 2023, aimed to cultivate the interview skills of Black African learners, to broaden their understanding of Higher Education (HE), and to expose them to relatable role models. Moreover, it was intended to profoundly impact the aspirations and achievements of these students. 

The podcasting project was multi-faceted. Firstly, it provided a platform for Black African learners to hone their interview skills, a crucial asset in both academic and professional spheres. By engaging in meaningful conversations with individuals from similar ethnic backgrounds, the students refined their communication abilities and gained valuable insights into various career pathways and educational opportunities. 

Additionally, the project served as a catalyst for fostering a deeper understanding of HE among the participating students. Through interactions with student ambassadors from similar ethnic backgrounds, the learners were able to see themselves within the realm of HE and further study. This representation played a pivotal role in dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding HE, thereby empowering the students to pursue their future aspirations with confidence. 

The impact of our initiative extended far beyond the confines of the podcasting project itself. By amplifying the voices of Black African learners and celebrating their achievements, we contributed to the broader discourse on equity in education. Through our presentation at the ‘Equity in Education and Society’ conference, we not only shed light on the transformative potential of inclusive initiatives but also inspired educators and policymakers to prioritise diversity and representation in their own practices. 

About the Institute for Educational & Social Equity 

The Institute for Educational & Social Equity is the UK’s premier specialist in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), providing unique services as the sole independent tertiary-level institution of its kind in the country. It offers research-led interventions to organisations seeking EDI improvements. With a focus on three core areas—research, capacity development, and institutional support – it collaborates with clients on diverse concerns, driving individual and organisational growth and enhancing practice and outcomes. 


Max Smith, GHWY Outreach Officer / Progression Officer, Leeds Arts University / Hanson Academy