Diversity in the heart of London
Hola! I’m Victoria, a student from sunny Spain, currently braving the not-so-sunny skies of London. Here to study Marketing at the University of Westminster, I’ve embarked on an expedition that’s about more than just books and lectures. It’s a voyage into the melting pot of languages, cultures and ethnicities. ¡Vamos!
As I stepped off the plane at Stansted, I felt like I was starting a new chapter in my life, armed with aspirations and a heavy bag. London was a new world entirely, with its soaring skyscrapers mixed in with its ancient architecture. Back home in Spain, diversity was warm, vibrant, and different like a patchwork quilt. Every region had its own distinct style, as seen by the flamenco dancers in Andalusia and the bagpipers in Galicia. However, diversity in London is a flourishing street market that offers a wide variety of goods from all over the globe.
Diversity through the eyes of a Westminster student
Walking through the streets of London is like flipping through the pages of a world atlas. I hear fragments of several languages, including Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Polish and a few others- creating a symphony of sounds that is music to my ears. This linguistic mosaic of cultures is extended beyond languages.
In London, my classroom is a mini United Nations. Did you know that Westminster is home to students from over 190 countries? That’s like having the entire globe on our campus! The topics of discussion extend beyond British politics and history to include global challenges seen through the lenses of students from students from China, Nigeria, Brazil, and many other nations. This has opened my eyes, made me re-evaluate my beliefs, and forced me to think more broadly.
How does diversity impact learning and attitudes may you ask?
Diversity brings unity, as stated by Gandhi. The University of Westminster assures to welcome all cultures, ethnicities and beliefs- regardless being a student or professor. The ethnic diversity of professors in UK higher education has significantly increased over time. Between 2003 and 2020, the percentage of employees who are Asian, or of a ethnic minority approximately doubled. Welcoming students and professors from around the globe to share their knowledge and views, will give other students the chance to broaden their educational, personal or life perspectives. By exposing students to a wide range of perspectives, encouraging critical thinking, and preparing them for a globalised world, diversity enhances the educational experience. Similar to a vibrant colour palette, cultural diversity in universities contributes its own unique hue to the canvas of academic and social life.
The University of Westminster isn’t just talking the talk. From their own news articles, events to committees, they take all matters diversity and inclusivity with their most concern. You can also indulge into their Diversity & Inclusion policies, procedures and regulations here. Naturally, embracing diversity isn’t always a walk in the park. Misunderstandings and conflicts can occur. Luckily, these challenges can be sought out to be seen as potential opportunities for growth, knowledge expansion and development of cultural awareness. These challenges can also be flipped into benefits for education or work places, says Forbes. For further knowledge, you can also indulge in Westminster’s past events, in which they celebrated a multitude of cultures by hosting events such as open talks related to black history month, writers’ block party and Diwali celebrations.
Furthermore, students are not only educated in their chosen professions but are also exposed to a diverse range of cultures, languages, and points of view in these hubs of global learning. Students are prepared for the more interconnected world that lies ahead of them by this exposure, which further cultivates empathy and widens minds. As we conclude, diversity is more than just a motto, as our journey through the diverse landscape of Westminster University has demonstrated. It’s a living, breathing part of our daily lives that enriches our academic experience. Keep in mind that everyone of us contributes a unique colour to this mosaic. Together, we make the University of Westminster a truly varied and inclusive envoirnment, so let’s celebrate, recognise and appreciate our diversity.