The University of Birmingham and Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan universities have combined to set up a scheme whereby student ambassadors are trained to be Equality and Diversity Ambassadors to work with fellow students and university staff to enhance the university of experience of all students.
In 2017 I was asked to run a training workshop for student ambassadors on a similar scheme focusing on Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) students. In 2018 this has been expanded to consider diversity and inclusivity across the board.
My contribution was to provide a briefing and discussion opportunity for ambassadors on the experience of LGBTQ students. The main topics I covered were:
- A brief history of LGBTQ liberation and increased protection under the law
- Overview of research into the LGBTQ student experience and case studies; mental health, drop-out rates
- Why is there still work to be done?
- Exploring: the curriculum, social life, employment
- Reviewing examples of good practice at universities and what needs to be improved
- Action-planning: what next? how? when? who can help?