Ulster University is committed to widening access and ensuring that, in our increasingly diverse community, all students achieve their full potential.
Students are entitled to a learning experience that respects diversity and enables their full participation, within an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
When we refer to inclusion, we often consider barriers as physical factors relating to the learning environment, such as access to a room or building or printing resources with a particular font.
However, it is important to consider the various elements of teaching and learning more holistically, to explore how to best enable our students to assimilate, process, recall and synthesise knowledge, in ways that are meaningful and effective.
Rather than focusing on specific target groups or dimensions of diversity such as disabled students or cultural groups, an inclusive approach aims to make HE accessible, relevant and engaging for all (Thomas and May, 2010).
Underpinning this concept are values of equity and fairness, where HE considers and values students’ differences within the mainstream curriculum, including teaching, learning and assessment approaches. (Hockings, 2010).
This concept is informed by the simple but challenging maxim that “students don’t want to stand out as different yet want to be recognised as individuals” (ibid).