We will integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into the student experience
Much of our ongoing work to place considerations of equality, diversity and inclusion at the centre of our educational offerings is detailed in the 2017 Learning and Teaching Strategy. This focuses on moving to more interactive, student-centred pedagogy.
Developing an inclusive curriculum that will attract, engage and support students of all backgrounds and identities is an integral part of the Learning and Teaching Strategy. Students will be treated as partners and will help shape their education experience. Interactive teaching and teaching based on inclusive research will allow students to bring their gender experiences, their cultural background, their experiences based on disability and sexual orientation, and their unique identity into the classroom as part of the group’s learning experience. Diversity will become an asset instead of a problem that needs to be overcome.
This is hugely important work since there is evidence from our own internal analyses that recruitment processes, as well as attainment and retention, are negatively influenced by racial, gender and disability biases. Counterbalancing that bias can be achieved by active measures to diversify student recruitment to increase the numbers of students from a Widening Participation background and to eliminate the attainment gaps experienced by some under- represented groups of students.
Outreach and admissions
We will work with the Office for Students to ensure we are providing ambitious and stretching targets to increase the diversity of our UK student population through a range of carefully targeted outreach activities and a supportive admissions process.
As a first step, we will pilot recruitment processes from 2019/20 which aim to increase the number of well-qualified undergraduate applicants from widening participation backgrounds admitted to the College. These will allow us to diversify our student community without compromising on academic standards. Minority student attainment and retention are important components of this objective and will be covered within the Learning and Teaching Strategy through the development of an inclusive classroom and an inclusive curriculum.
Improve awareness and behavious
We will develop “Imperial Expectations” packages for all students (undergraduate and postgraduate) that will be integrated into induction programmes in all departments. These will be designed both to raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion issues among students and to define expected standards of behaviour.
We will collaborate with Imperial College Union to articulate a common vision on how promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion will enhance the student experience.
We will ensure that all staff involved in delivering frontline student services have equality, diversity and inclusion awareness training.
We will review and enhance our support for students who have been in care or who are recent care leavers.