Universities are ideal environments to bring
together a blend of people from different
backgrounds, with variety in the personal
characteristics that shape us, our motivations,
experiences and values.
The university student community is undoubtedly more diverse than you will be accustomed to. This is an opportunity not afforded in many social groups or workspaces and is one for you to benefit from. Interacting with people different to ourselves is important to support our own personal growth through a wider understanding of the world. This helps us relate to the communities in which we expect to work.
Misunderstandings about groups of people
who are different to us can lead to unnecessary
hostility and anxiety. By exploring why you
might feel nervous, uncomfortable, or safe
around certain people can tell us a lot about
how these biases have formed.
At university, you can expect to meet, study, and socialise with people of many different characteristics. These include different disabilities, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities. This offers fantastic potential for your learning, not only in the diversity of thought from your peers, but also in your own understanding of society, privilege, and inequality.
The more interactions that occur will help to change pre-conceptions and stereotypes. You can also use this learning to challenge negative associations and see others as individuals and potential friends.
Another benefit to this unique environment is
that it allows you to expand your social and
professional network to include a broader range
of people. This exposure to diverse thinking,
cultural awareness and equality will directly
benefit you by enhancing social and
structural inclusion, whatever your future career
aspirations. Through this personal growth, you
can have a positive impact on the world.
You can also use this opportunity to become more mindful of barriers and inequalities faced by your peers by considering who is underrepresented and how their journey to higher education differs. This may be the first time you have needed to consider additional factors such as venue accessibility, safety concerns of particular groups, or religious customs.
This is also a chance for you to showcase aspects of your own personality and celebrate yourself in a more authentic way than you may have been supported to do previously. By realising the lived experiences of others, we can help create a culture of inclusion and support each other to succeed.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.