23.08.2007
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ESU Seminar Draws to a Close

As ESU’s Seminar on Discrimination in Higher Education drew to an close it was generally acknowledged by chairs and participants alike to have been highly successful.

Participants gained a new outlook on equality issues and on how discrimination manifests itself within Higher Education. For some participants, this was an issue they had already been tackling to varying degrees, whereas for some of our members this was something new to incorporate into their plan of work.

The participants were extremely interactive during the course of the seminar and a lot was achieved by simply sharing experiences. The presentation of the All Different All Equal campaign gave the participants an insight into what is being done on an international level and has prompted them to use this example to further campaign against discrimination on a national level.

ESU took this opportunity to present its’ policies and stands on issues of equality and to highlight the importance of combating discrimination to our members. It was interesting to plan this seminar as this is a large topic which can be approached in many ways, so finding the right tools and methods was instructive and contributed to the learning curve of new committee members involved in the organisation, such as the Gender Equality Committee organisers.

Furthermore, the results of the various workshops and the outcomes of the discussions will serve greatly in adapting and releasing the second edition of our Equality Handbook. The results on the Gender working group session are helping to provide the spine to a Gender Equality Policy Paper which will be presented to our members in November. Results from the working sessions led to the amending of ESU’s Equal Opportunities Policy Paper.

The variety of issues tackled was widely appreciated and some participants had not begun to consider some of these issues, leading to number of interesting and involved discussions.

Throughout the seminar, the cultural differences between our participants were obvious but by the end of the four days, it was the similarities between them that were the most striking. The participants were all left discussing how to best implement what they had learnt and assimilated on a national level.  All agreed on the need to work on eradicating discrimination from their HEIs and had a clearer idea of how this discrimination manifested itself, on the effects it could have and on how they could ease the way for people in minority groups.

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