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November 2012


Skills London
sfcf conference

TES 2012
University Programme
Skills London 2012

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BSix Student Diversity Conference

Before half term BSix hosted its first Student Diversity Conference. The event, put on in collaboration with researchers from the Open University, encouraged students to share their thoughts on their own cultural background, the interaction between different cultures in college, and the way that BSix encourages and promotes diversity.

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Students were invited to join in one of several mini-debates around the canteen. Each mini-debate tackled a different question. The questions discussed were:

  • How do you identity yourself culturally?
  • Do you feel different to your peers in certain situations at college because of your cultural background?
  • How does your awareness of your own cultural identity influence your life as a student?
  • What do you understand by equality and diversity?
  • How do different cultures help or hinder your life as a student?
  • How does BSix benefit from being so diverse?

The mini-debates were led by members of Debating Club. Once students had discussed their responses in groups, the debate leaders presented a summary of what had been said to the rest of the conference.

Students agreed that their cultural backgrounds had a significant impact on their daily lives in college. However, it was argued that all benefited from the promotion of different cultures within BSix. Education and the opportunity to learn about other cultures and ways of living were seen as vital to building a harmonious community. The groups were positive about the cultural events organised by BSeven, including recent celebrations of Black History Month and Nigerian Independence Day. "I've not seen any racism here," one student commented. "With all this going on, I think it would be very difficult to be racist."

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One of the debate leaders, Ahmed Abdulle, reflected: "It was certainly one of the most engaging discussions I've had in a long time about diversity…the input that many gave made the whole conference very riveting." Ahmed was pleased "to study at a diverse institution such as ours."

Our visiting researchers from the Open University, Dr. Hannah Jones and Dr. Kieran Connell, rounded off proceedings by introducing their research. They said: "We were really impressed by the great turn-out and the enthusiasm and ideas of BSix students, and we're looking forward to working more with the college on our Living Multiculture research project."

Many thanks to everybody who participated in the conference, especially the members of Debating Club for leading the individual debates. Special mention to Rhasan Brunner and to Denise Roulston and the BSeven team for organising the event. Watch this space for more news about the Living Multiculture project and other BSeven events.