The Road Towards Diverse, Inclusive And Tolerant Campuses

Diversity and inclusiveness are important as fundamentals of education are non-discriminatory, say education experts.

Working and learning with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures enables students gain a more comprehensive understanding of life. While many of us may immediately think of race or religion when speaking about diversity, there are numerous aspects that actually play into diversity, especially in a classroom setting.  

BW Education recently hosted Top Education Brands Summit and Awards where visionaries from various education institutes discussed how campuses across the country can be made more inclusive and diverse. 

The panellists for the session were Prof Janat Shah, Director, IIM Udaipur; Dr Suresh Ramanathan, Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai; Dr Subhajit Bhattacharyya, Director, IMT Ghaziabad; Dr RK Mishra, Director, IPE and Subhash Sharma, Dean and Director, Indus Business Academy. The session was moderated by Dr Rajan Saxena, Former Vice-Chancellor, NMIMS. 

In his opening remarks, Dr Saxena said that diversity is the only thing by which we can make creative individuals and this can be done by an inclusive agenda. He asserted, “We need to open doors to all sections of the society as the fundamentals of education is non-discriminatory.” 

Adding to the discussion, Dr RK Mishra, Director, IPE said that the scope of diversity is extremely limited and education institutions need to widen their horizons. “Inclusivity is not just limited to gender but is much beyond that. We need to think about diversity on the international level to build the network of Indian institutions with universities abroad.” 

Further elaborating, Prof Janat Shah of IIM Udaipur said that in higher education institutes, work experience and educational background also play a crucial role in making an institute diverse. However he states that when it comes to recruitment, corporates may not seem to look at valuing overall diversity.  

Highlighting another essential aspect, Prof Ramanathan of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai said, “Diversity in itself does not mean anything unless there is tolerance for ideas that are contrary to what you might believe.” 

“A campus has to be a melting point of all different thought processes. The intervention should be by appropriate designing of the curriculum. We must ensure diversity not only in representation but also in curricular activities so that we ensure perfect building of the thought process”, added Dr Bhattacharyya of IMT Ghaziabad. 

According to Dr Saxena, technology is also a big enabler in pushing the agenda of inclusiveness and diversity essentially because it follows the model of transparency. The panel was brought forward important insights and the leaders were optimistic about making their respective institutes and hence the education system more diverse and inclusive for the students.  

The event was concluded successfully in partnership with the Tourism Finance Corporation of India.

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