A Model for Promoting Diversity and Global Perspectives in University Curricula: An Analysis of an Initiative at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
In the UK, the new Higher Education Academy — an organisation designed to promote best practice in teaching and learning across the sector — invited universities piloting significant developments in their organisation to participate in a 'Change Academy'. The thinking is that successful principles and practice can, in future, provide templates and exemplars for other universities. For many years staff at Leeds Metropolitan University have supported the promotion of global perspectives and diversity awareness in the whole student experience; and University structures, appointments and mechanisms have been specifically developed in the past two years to fully embed this. The intended outcomes are that students graduating in the future will be more skilled, reflective, intellectually curious, sensitive, flexible, knowledgeable and more 'cross-culturally capable' and autonomous in the evolving global society. In promoting change, the core team's ambition has been that more than academic content is transformed — that modes of delivery, learning, monitoring and assessment are adapted to make change a more meaningful exercise, for both students and staff. This paper analyses the principles, practices and progress to date of changes in relation to both the institutional and the student experience.
Keywords: Curriculum development, Diversity awareness, Global perspectives, Higher education
Principal Lecturer in History and Education, School of Education and Professional Training, Leeds Metropolitan University