Cultural diversity and the Guidelines on Learning
The UNSW Guidelines on Learning (a framework to inform teaching at UNSW) uphold the importance of embracing cultural diversity. They explicitly state the need to embrace different cultures and accommodate diverse educational backgrounds in the student body.
Guideline 8 reads: Acknowledge, value and draw on the diversity of students' experiences in learning and teaching approaches and activities.
And Guideline 9: Use multiple teaching methods and modes of instruction (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and read/write). Students learn in different ways.
Requirements of a culturally inclusive university
A culturally inclusive environment requires mutual respect, effective relationships, clear communication, explicit understandings about expectations and critical self-reflection. In an inclusive environment, people of all cultural orientations can freely express who they are, their own opinions and points of view fully participate in teaching, learning, work and social activities feel safe from abuse, harassment or unfair criticism.
In a culturally inclusive university:
individual students can participate fully in classes, aim to study better, aim to achieve better academic results, experience less stress and have enhanced career prospects;
all staff can interact more fully with other staff and students, and can extend and develop their own cultural awareness; and