Inclusivity: The essentials 1. Academic Community
This page contains guided self-reflection statements on whether your practice is inclusive in terms of making students feel part of and represented within the academic community.
The more someone feels part of and represented within a community, the more they will achieve. The value of a sense of community within the University cannot be overstated.
Simple steps can help bolster a feeling of belonging: having opportunities to participate and learning the rules and routines that enable the community to function.
Self-Reflection and further information
Use the self-reflection grid and score yourself between 1 and 5 for each point. You can then use the statements below to find out what you can do to further your practice in each area.
I use plain English and inclusive language.
Inclusive language demonstrates a respect for your audience. It is inclusive and accessible by making the meaning clear and unambiguous. The Plain English campaign provides information on how to write in plain English. There is a range of advice available to aid avoiding language that can be racist, disablist and sexist, including from the University of Manchester for inclusive writing.
I enable students and colleagues to introduce themselves using their names and pronouns.
Use of correct names and pronouns are so important in showing that we care about our students and colleagues as individuals. A quick and easy way to demonstrate inclusion is to invite students to introduce themselves. Pronunciation may differ from our expectations, or students may prefer familiar (nick-, new or abbreviated) names.
I support students to find their own place in the academic community.
Inclusion involves creating environments where we can find ourselves represented and visible. Furaha Asani identifies the value of leadership and visibility; allies and support; and staff and student voices as instrumental in creating more inclusive higher education. She offers some suggestions and links to a range of further resources and initiatives that support community-building in Higher Education.
It is also valuable to introduce different aspects of academic life, including professional networks, disciplinary bodies, learned societies, industrial contracts and professional services as not all students will have an understanding of the different roles, groups and communities, as appropriate to the discipline and level of study. In addition, the University and the Students Union offer a range of networks and committees for both staff and students, links are below.
Related Elevate Guidance
The Inclusivity page directs you the most relevant sections of the Elevate website as well as to other websites.
Link to the most relevant Essentials resources: