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Society is becoming increasingly diverse and higher education campuses are now home to students and staff from different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. In response to increasing student diversity, higher education institutions have tended to rely on specialist staff, as well as the commitment of particular academic faculty, who often assume the role of ‘access champion’. This often leads to access, participation, and success being ‘owned’ by the few, rather than the many: this in effect runs counter to national access policy, which envisions the student population as reflecting the diversity of Ireland’s population (DES, 2011). In line with this vision, the Higher  Education Authority (HEA) recommends that “the next step is to integrate the principle of equity of access more fully into the everyday life of the HEIs so that it permeates all faculties and departments, and is not marginalised as the responsibility of the designated access office”( HEA, 2015, p. 25).

 

At MTU inclusivity is specifically listed as the first of four core values whereby ‘we strive to support and nurture inclusivity, diversity and equality, recognising the value they have to the future of our students, staff and the wider community’. Furthermore, MTU identifies the engagement and empowerment of staff as a strategic enabler, committing to actions and initiatives that seek to ensure and promote a culture of inclusion, diversity and equality where staff and students are respected and valued across the University.

 

MTU’s staff and students have come together to organise an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Awareness (EDI) Programme for staff and students across the month of April. The aim of which is to increase awareness among staff and students of the issues around equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education and in doing so it is hoped that we can continue to effect positive change within MTU to ensure that the principle of equal access to higher education for all is firmly embedded within our university creating a fairer society in which everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

EDI Programme 2021

The following is the planned schedule of the events – each event will be hosted online due to current COVID-19 restrictions:

 

Date & Time

Event Title

13/04/2021,

11:30-12:00

Launch of EDI Awareness Programme 2020/21

 

Booking & Further Information

13/04/2021,

12:00 -13:00

Other Voices

 

A space to hear other voices, telling other stories, from other perspectives

 

Booking & Further Information

15/04/2021,

12:00-13:00

The Impact of Menopause in the Workplace

 

Understanding the challenges faced by women in the workplace due to menopause

 

Booking & Further Information

16/04/2021,

12:00-13:00

Unsilencing Black Voices

 

An opportunity to hear from members of the black community who will discuss racism in Ireland

 

Booking & Further Information

19/04/2021,

15:00-16:00

The International Experience

 

Hear the voices of some international students - the benefits and challenges they faced

 

Booking & Further Information

20/04/2021,

14:00-15:30

Understanding Autism and Inclusive Education

 

Understanding autism and the role that each of us can play in making MTU more autism friendly

 

Booking & Further Information

21/04/2021,

13:00-14:00

Men's Health - Prostate, Testicular & Bowel Cancer Awareness

 

Raising awareness amongst men of the signs and symptoms of prostate, testicular and bowel cancer.

 

Booking & Further Information

22/04/2021,

14:00-15:30

Celebrating Deaf Community Culture

 

An event to celebrate and promote an understanding of Deafness and Deaf Culture

 

Booking & Further Information

22/04/2021,

19:00-21:00

Revisiting Strictly Come Dancing

 

For one night only relive magic of when Strictly Come Dancing came to MTU Cork!

 

Booking & Further Information

23/04/2021,

10:00-12:30

Traveller Culture Awareness

 

Raising awareness of issues face by the Traveller Community

 

Booking & Further Information

23/04/2021,

13:00-14:00

Women's Health - Breast Cancer Awareness

 

Raising awareness amongst women and men of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer

 

Booking & Further Information

26/04/2021,

11:00-12:00

Age is just a number

 

Celebrating age, discussing generational differences and hearing about the experiences of successful MTU professionals

 

Booking & Further Information

27/04/2021,

13:00-14:00

Born this Way: Exploring Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

 

Discussing experiences of exclusion and non-inclusion in the LGBTQI+ community

 

Booking & Further Information

28/04/2021

10:00

11:30

“Text me when you get home”: A Consent/Sexual Harassment Seminar

 

Discussing consent & sexual harassment

 

Booking & Further Information

29/04/2021,

19:00-20:00

Music Bingo – EDI Special

 

Calling all music and bingo fans – get your card, listen for your favourite songs and win some prizes!

 

Booking & Further Information

30/04/2021,

11:00-12:00

In My Shoes: The Migrant & Refugee Perspective

 

An opportunity to hear migrant and refugee voices discuss the challenges they face and have overcome.

 

Booking & Further Information

30/04/2021,

12:00-13:00

A Healthy MTU: striving for a healthy, diverse and inclusive University

 

Find out more about ‘A Healthy MTU’ - a multi-campus health promotion initiative

 

Booking & Further Information

30/04/2021,

13:00-13:30

Close of EDI Awareness Programme 2021

 

Closing the EDI Awareness Programme 2020/21 but launching the new MTU Period Dignity Initiative for September 2021.

 

Booking & Further Information

 

References

  • National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (Hunt Report). Dublin: Department of Education and Skills.
  • National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education, 2015-2019. Dublin: Higher Education Authority.

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