Nic Dickson selected for Universitas 21 Real Impact on Society and Environment Award


Nic Dickson, part-time PhD student with the School of Education, has been shortlisted to represent the University of Glasgow at the Universitas 21 (U21) RISE (Real Impact on Society and Environment) awards.

Universitas 21 is a network of 27 world-class universities, including the University of Glasgow, who share excellence, collaborate across borders and nurture international knowledge exchange. RISE 21 is an international showcase that features student achievement in sustainability and social innovation. The competition is designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry. Each U21 member institution is invited to nominate up to four student-led projects based on an aspect of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Nic was encouraged to apply to the competition by her supervisor, Professor Bonnie Slade. Her application was selected by The University of Glasgow’s judging panel and she was invited to create a 3-5 minute video based on her PhD study. Nic’s research involved the service users and staff of a Glasgow-based charity that supports women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence, and recent homelessness. She worked with the service users of the charity for over a six-month fieldwork period and delivered weekly arts-informed, adult learning sessions in the charity city-centre offices.

Nic used an innovative arts-based research methodology to capture, analyse and disseminate the findings of the research; this non-traditional approach allowed Nic to explore the barriers and enablers to participation in adult learning for this marginalised group. Nic’s research links to the UN Sustainability Goal number 4, which identifies the need to: ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

Working closely with the charity, Nic entered the RISE competition to build on her PhD findings and share the lessons from the research with organisations that work with marginalised adult learners. If successful, Nic will use the funding to produce a ‘principles of practice’ interactive guide for academics and practitioners, which will outline the methods and mechanisms available to enhance engagement in adult learning. By identifying and communicating the barriers and enablers to adult education, we can promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

For further information on the competition, please see the Rise Showcase and Awards Handbook featured below or follow this link:


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