My unforgettable experience
Diversity is a critical element of any university community. As someone that comes from a Caribbean and African background, I have always felt like diversity was a big factor no matter where I went in terms of school and college. I personally feel like I can adapt to my environment and still manage to socialise with other people from different parts of the world, especially as I have grown and matured. Finding out about new cultures and traditions has always interest me. The University of Westminster allowed me to discover that side to me as my course is very diverse. I have made many amazing friends and cannot wait what to future hold.
However, majority of my memories I have is with the friends I have made from the African and Caribbean Society. The number of unforgettable events we have had will always be my favourite part of my university experience. The spring ball in 2022 will be my number 1 memory, the venue and the vibes were truly immaculate! A saxophone player, music, 3 course meal, 360 camera and an after party. I really can’t wait to go out with a bang and end my university experience with the next one in June.
Also moving on to the statistic side of things, one of the key benefits of a diverse university community is the exposure to a range of ideas and beliefs.
With a diverse student committee, students can learn about different cultures, values, and traditions. This exposure can help students develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for diversity, which is crucial in today’s world.
This is especially important for students from historically disregarded communities who may have faced systemic barriers to accessing higher education. It also allows stereotypes and ignorance to be demolished and give students a different point of view. The UOW also offered a range of perspectives, experiences, and insights that deepened the academic and social experiences of all individuals involved. Diversity isn’t only about race and culture, but it also covers many aspects such as, socioeconomic, religious, and gender identities.
Inclusivity is just as important!
In addition, diversity at university can also help to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity. When students see people like themselves represented in the university community, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and to be successful in their academic life. This is something I can relate to as having an amazing society which allows you find out more about other African and Caribbean cultures such as food, tradition and my favourite which is music.
Studies have shown that diverse groups can outperform less diverse groups in problem-solving and decision-making tasks. This is extremely interesting to me because I also discovered that when students work in diverse groups, they are exposed to a range of perspectives and are more likely to consider multiple viewpoints.
Relating to this discovery, I remember watching a documentary a few years ago about school children that were split into 2 groups and were assigned a mini project relating to culture and diversity. The group that has the most diverse range of children outperformed the other group as they had a lot more to talk about and were also able to learn more about each other’s backgrounds. Therefore, this can lead to more creative solutions and a deeper understanding of complex issues.
Although, diversity at university can has a lot of amazing benefits, there are also challenges that need to be addressed. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that all students feel included and supported, regardless of their background. I remember when I was telling one of my friends about the ball last year and her saying that she wishes there was a similar society she could join that represented her as she felt like she wasn’t fulfilling her university experience.
That moment I realised. Not everyone feels included in the places they are and therefore they feel unacknowledged. Therefore, I believe that universities need to create inclusive environments where students feel safe to express themselves and there is a societies and groups made for those who have niche interests or come from different parts of the world. Students should also not be afraid to let their voices be heard and speak up about improvements that they want to see within university. You shouldn’t feel hesitant when speaking to teachers as they are there to help you have the best experience possible.
To wrap this up, I have realised that diversity is an essential element of any university community. A diverse faculty can offer a range of perspectives and experiences that improve the academic and social experiences of all individuals involved. It is crucial that universities continue to focus on diversity and create inclusive environments that support the success of all students.
This is something that I have gained from studying at the University of Westminster and I will forever be grateful for that…