University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Service user and carers' views of best practice in student selection at an English University

Rooney, Joy ORCID: and Unwin, Peter ORCID: (2021) Service user and carers' views of best practice in student selection at an English University. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45 (5). pp. 641-653. ISSN 0309-877X Online: 1469-9486

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Service users and carers’ (SUACs) inclusion in student selection days at English universities is accepted as standard practice, since such inclusion is mandated by a range of professional health and social work regulators. However, SUACs’ voices are little heard; this study addresses this knowledge gap for the first time. Student selection research was co-produced by a member of an English university’s SUAC group and an academic. A qualitative, semi-structured interviewing approach was undertaken with SUACs (N=10/14) involved in selection days across social work, nursing, associate nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, paramedicine and physician associate disciplines. Thematic analysis was employed resulting in four main themes-expected contributions of SUACs; perceived: benefits; challenges; and suggestions for areas of improvement. Sub-themes included: perceived benefits and challenges for students, staff and SUACs, respectively. Within these, a rich tapestry demonstrated the ability of SUACs to ‘professionally’ undertake their selection duties by providing realistic insight to candidates into what they might expect working with SUACs, while discerning some candidates’ limitations, for example, emotional strength and personality. Most SUACs thought that their inclusion was valuable and valued, however, they saw much room for improvement in the transparency and logistics of processes; also perceiving and empathising with the challenges faced by academic staff. Greater reintegration into the planning, delivery and decision making for candidate selection was desired by SUACs, which was perceived to have diminished over time due to a need to increase student numbers. Recommendations are made which may be relevant to other HEIs and professional regulatory organisations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the online published article via the official URL. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Service users, health and social care, student selection, student recruitment, carers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Joy Rooney
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2020 08:27
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 01:00

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