Diversity Policy: How to Integrate It Into Your Study Programme?
Why Diversity Is Relevant to Your Study Programme
Today’s society is very diverse. As a consequence, Ghent University and its study programmes are faced with a number of challenges. Society needs highly educated knowledge workers who know how to deal with the present diversity. It is important, therefore, that students learn to deal with diversity and that they are prepared for a highly diverse work and research context. Strengthening competencies in diversity is a challenge for every study programme.
In addition, Ghent University has observed how a considerable amount of talent goes to waste. Students from specific groups (e.g. international students, students with a migration background, students with a functional impairment, students from a socially vulnerable environment, students who are the first of their families to enter into higher education, etc.) are underrepresented. It is more difficult for them to take the step towards university studies and they run a higher risk of study delay or dropout. Therefore, study programmes should pursue a policy that is open to a diverse student audience and that offers optimal learning and development opportunities to all students.
Diversity at Ghent University - What Does it Mean?
Ghent University chooses a broad approach to diversity: diversity is every form of variety. Diversity is not reduced to just cultural diversity. Every student and staff member has their own, unique combination of visible and less visible personality traits. Dealing with diversity means benefitting from the qualities, talents, experiences and competencies of all students and staff members, while taking into account differences and similarities between individuals and groups within the university.
Ghent University is an open, pluralistic university. Ghent University wishes to see all talent that is present in society reflected in its community. Ghent University’s diversity policy therefore pays specific attention to the underrepresentation of specific groups of students and staff members. Ghent University’s diversity policy pleads for the creation of an inclusive learning, work and research environment, in which students and staff members feel at home, and which attracts a diversity of talents, putting them to good use and strengthening them.
How to Integrate Diversity in the Study Programme?
In the following sections, we will go into more detail about ways to design a diversity policy as a study programme. In the first part, we look at how to strengthen strudents' diversity competencies, and how to integrate this into the curriculum. In the second part, we focus on creating a diversity-sensitive learning environment so that all students have maximum opportunities to develop, and in the third part we discuss how to stimulate attention to diversity in your teaching team.