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Inclusive Learning

In this report, the concept of ‘inclusion’ as a fundamental element of education at the University of Cambridge entails the institution's responsiveness to the needs and backgrounds of students, encompassing factors such as race, gender, income and disability. Moreover, it emphasizes the university's commitment to fostering a diverse student body and promoting practices which are in line with the students’ varied ways of learning and busy schedules.

Better Tomorrow: Inclusive 1

Students hope to belong, be acknowledged and understood, and have access to a more structural and less individualised or confrontational way of detecting and solving student-staff issues.

Barriers: Perceptions of discriminatory and elitist staff, preferential treatment for academic staff when misconduct occurs and problematic reach out campaign.

Opportunities: Make students feel like their needs are taken into account and given a fair weight. Additionally, there's an opportunity to create an environment where the burden is not further placed on the individuals who are already struggling and may have had negative experiences with university staff in the past.

Better Tomorrow: Inclusive 2

Students, particularly state school applicants and first year UG, expect more guidance regarding exam preparation, interview techniques, and study skills relevant to their course.

Barriers: Some state school applicants are not mentored on how to prepare for entrance exams or interviews. As students transition from the application stage to becoming enrolled students, they may encounter challenges in their learning journey due to lacking the initial necessary study skills to succeed.

Opportunities: Explore the introduction of foundation years in more departments and guidance on how entrance exams and interviews should be tackled, studied for and what applicants should expect from them. Additionally, the university could improve its communication regarding the study skills that are relevant to each student's course.

Better Tomorrow: Inclusive 3

International students expect to have more cultural inclusion.

Barriers: Some international students face cultural barriers (language, expectations, and study-social life balance practices), which can lead to a lack of support systems and social integration.

Opportunities: Provide more informal opportunities for students to study and socialise together that are less formal than college dinners and where students can bond over having to do tasks or study together (e.g., study night events).

Better Tomorrow: Inclusive 4

Students expect academic staff to have more empathy and awareness regarding their level of understanding of the subject matter and learning needs

Barriers: Students have criticised the lack of course roadmaps, clear instructions and expectations. Students feel that some academic staff assume students already possess a comparable level of context when imparting knowledge to them.

Opportunities: Departments could provide clearer and more consistent course requirements and expectations, as well as listening and anticipating students' needs, and providing regular overviews and curriculum summaries.

Better Tomorrow: Inclusive 5

Students expect an easy and universal access to study resources and tools.

Barriers: Students are disappointed by the unequal access to resources. This has lead to students perceiving that the university is perpetuating an environment of inequality, which creates a divide between those who have access to resources and those who do not.

Opportunities: Offer all students access to a learning environment that aims to cater for diverse learning styles, flexibility in accessing information, and promote interactive and engaging learning experiences.