University Tips Blog
Image of map, with pins on different locations
A headshot image of the author, Sarah Mohammad-Qureshi

by Sarah Mohammad-Qureshi

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner at The University of Law

posted on 2 Jan '24

Opportunities and inclusion – celebrating diversity in university communities

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.

Feeling a little daunted?

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.

Expanding your network

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.

Get email alerts when new blogs are posted

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.

Recommended blogs

Cookie Policy    X