First among equals? Diversity work nominated for HE Awards

Fri, 31 May 2019 12:03:00 BST

The University’s important work to support equality and diversity is being recognised in two nominations to The Herald’s Higher Education Awards. It follows recent success in the Times Higher Education Impact Awards, which placed Glasgow Caledonian among the world’s best institutions promoting gender equality and reducing inequalities.

“We are making good progress,” says Senior Lecturer Frances MacInnes, who is also one of GCU’s Common Good leads. “Our work to improve diversity and inclusivity across the University was singled out recently as an example of good practice in the *Closing the Gap report from UUK and NUS. These Higher Education Award nominations are further evidence our work is being recognised across the sector.”

The University’s nomination for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award lists Frances alongside the former Student Vice-President, Yetunde Ogedengbe, Equality and Diversity Advisor, Adrian Lui and Learning Technologist Fraser McLeish. Their work promoting racial equality within the student body has raised the profile of intercultural awareness, helping students build their understanding of norms and values and the unconscious bias that exists within various contexts.  It’s also credited with providing a dialogue as a starting point for campus-based cross-cultural communication and action. It’s a theme Adrian will expand on when he addresses a UUK conference on the BAME attainment gap in London on 5 June.

Yetunde is also nominated in the Outstanding Contribution from a University Student Award. An international GCU graduate, Yetunde is the first black woman student officer in the history of GCU's Students’ Association.  She has dedicated part of her role to campaigning on gender and racial equality initiatives, with considerable success. ​Earlier this year, her efforts saw the University's Students' Association win a Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland (SPARQS) student engagement award as the best example of a co-curricular initiative having a positive impact on student learning.

Yetunde said “It is incredible to see my passion being recognised as outstanding and tagged as good practice for positive impact in Higher Education institutions across the UK. At GCU I’ve found a belief that we have the power to inspire and to deliver on new opportunities that can open doors to cultural innovations and economic progress. This is a key platform to grow internationalisation and collaborations among diverse institutions.”

“My time at GCU has inspired me to always make a sustainable impact in any environment I find myself. So far, developing the intercultural skills project in partnership with my three amazing staff colleagues has created a wonderful moment in my life. I am pleased to have made a positive impact and created a legacy which will be a good leadership example that other students can follow.”

The Herald’s Higher Education Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday, June 5, at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow.

*See Page 51 of the ‘Closing the Gap’ report