A Model for Promoting Diversity and Global Perspectives in University Curricula: An Analysis of an Initiative at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

Peter D’Sena
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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
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Model for Promoting Diversity and Global Perspectives in University Curricula, A

Peter D’Sena

Principal Lecturer in History and Education, School of Education and Professional Training, Leeds Metropolitan University

Peter D'Sena is Principal Lecturer in History and Education at Leeds Metropolitan University. He has researched and written on crime in eighteenth century England, school history and cultural diversity. Before moving to Leeds, Peter worked in schools for 16 years ultimately becoming Head of History in an inner-London comprehensive in which the 1100 pupils could, amongst them, speak 38 languages. He also held schoolteacher research fellowships at both Oxford and Cambridge. In his current post, he trains both primary and secondary teachers and has particular responsibilities — organising the delivery of Professional Studies and as leader for a new form of training, the Flexible PGCE. Most recently, he has led Leeds Metropolitan's successful bid to the HE Academy to promote global perspectives across the whole University curriculum. He is a trustee of the World Studies Trust. In terms of his own diversity, Peter would describe himself as an Anglo-Indian-Londoner.

Ref: D05P0244