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AHESS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Photo of BAME students and teacher in class

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences is committed to supporting students to achieve their full potential.

We have identified three key strategies that can help create a sense of belonging (UUK, 2019) for all students, and also for staff (ECU, 2011). Through these, we aim to offer BAME students an inclusive educational experience that contributes to their academic success.

Diversifying the curriculum

Evidence suggests that when students can identify with the curriculum and see it as relevant to them, they will achieve greater academic success (NUS, 2011). Anglia Learning & Teaching provide a wide range of resources on achieving an inclusive curriculum, including assessment and feedback practices. Examples of good practice from other HEIs include a collaborative project by students and staff at the University of Kent, with a specific focus on reading lists. The benefits to UK universities of internationalising the curriculum have also been identified.

Active learning

Numerous studies have shown that the use of active, co-operative learning strategies can enhance student engagement in various disciplines (eg Mello and Less, 2013; Arthurs and Kreager, 2017). One practical and easily-implemented technique is the Jigsaw, which was developed to foster co-operation in the aftermath of desegregation in the US education system. This, and a wide range of other practical techniques, with sample lesson plans and videos tutorials, can be explored in the Harvard ABLconnect repository. Although originally designed for classroom settings, many of these techniques can be adapted for online or blended delivery.

Fostering an inclusive environment

Practical strategies (such as active listening, awareness of implicit bias and mentoring) can enhance inclusivity and help all members of the community achieve their full potential. A comprehensive toolkit from the University of Sussex provides practical tips, resources and links to further reading. The Advance HE Inclusive Learning and Teaching site also provides further resources and examples of good practice, including case studies and guidance on teaching materials.

In this video, BAME students from our Faculty express what inclusivity means to them, and share their views on good practice in inclusive learning and teaching. You can access their answers to interview questions as below:

  • What does inclusivity mean to you as a BAME student? (01.15)
  • What should an inclusive learning environment be like? (02.12)
  • How can teaching staff ensure a sense of belonging for BAME students? (04.26)
  • How can teaching staff best support you to achieve your goals? (05.47)
  • Can you give examples of existing good practice from our lecturers in being inclusive? (06.54)
  • How do you think online learning affects BAME students specifically? (08.28)

Many thanks are due to the interviewees, Avinash Miriyam and Fatima Lakhani, and to colleagues from the faculty Awards Gap Working Group.

Project co-ordinator: David Jay; Video editor: John Walsh


Resource list