The University of Glasgow believes that all learners should be facilitated in reaching their full academic potential. To this end, the University is committed to ensuring that all students can participate equally in every aspect of the learning and teaching process. We aim for our learning environment to be as inclusive as possible, so that individual interventions are the exception and not the rule. (from Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy, May 2018)
The creation of an environment which will enable all students to participate and learn equally means that staff should consider using content advice where appropriate to enable students to prepare in advance to engage with challenging or potentially traumatic subject matter and to provide access to appropriate support, where necessary. Challenging material is part of education, and we want to support our students to engage.
We aim to recognise and respect the mental and emotional wellbeing of students by making them aware in advance of the content of courses and seminars so that they are best able to prepare for engagement with that content.
We aim to create the best possible learning environment by identifying, and being sensitive to, issues which may impact on student wellbeing so that students can prepare to engage with material in advance and may seek support where appropriate.
We recognise that is it neither possible nor desirable create an exhaustive list of topics where staff will determine content advice should be given. This will depend on particular disciplines and the way that certain topics are taught. However, the aim of this guidance is to encourage teachers to become sensitive to the issues which the subject matter of their courses might raise for students and for the creation of an inclusive learning environment. The educational benefits of engaging with challenging material and ideas should be emphasised, as well as signposting to the support offered by the University to prepare students for this.
The University is fully committed to protecting principles of academic freedom (See Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 s.23). It should thus be clear that this guidance is not about removing difficult or contentious issues or views from the curriculum, but aims to create an inclusive learning environment by supporting students to fully engage with a range of challenges.