Taking place at five of its study centres across the week, Diversity Fest 2023 brought students and staff together through a series of talks, activities, and competitions designed to raise awareness and appreciate the importance of diversity across the university.
The event was also an opportunity to provide students with exposure to aspects of Arden’s support network and services, with members of Arden’s Careers, Inclusion, and Academic Skill’s teams in attendance to talk to students.
Stripped across the week, Arden’s Diversity Fest 2023 visited a variety of the university’s study centres, with the celebration coming to students in Manchester on Monday, Birmingham on Tuesday, Berlin on Wednesday, and London on Thursday and Friday, with events taking place in both Holborn and Tower Hill.
'Equity, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Arden,' said Kate Lister, Arden University's Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
'We believe in ensuring every student feels heard, supported, and valued on their academic journey. Hosting our first Diversity Fest has been an great opportunity for our students to come together to celebrate what makes them unique and what they’re proud of in their academic journeys so far. It's also offered them a chance to meet our fabulous Careers, Inclusion, and Academic Skills teams, and to learn more about how they can succeed in their studies and go on to be role models to others. For me, it has been an utter pleasure to travel to our study centres and meet our amazing, diverse and inspirational students and staff.'
Student participation across the week was both impressive and rewarding, with more than 800 students getting involved with proceedings across the centres.
'We’re thrilled with how Diversity Fest 2023 has turned out,’ said Molly Hunt, Arden’s Student Communications and Event Manager. ‘It’s been incredible to experience our centres so full of learners engaging with our events, especially when we've seen so many individuals, who normally study online, coming in specifically to join us in person.'
Among the activities for students was Arden’s Diversitree, which allowed students the opportunity to explain, and proudly display to others, something that’s unique about them.
One of the students attending Diversity Fest 2023 was Believe, who was keen to point out the importance of diversity across society. ‘Diversity means we get to have different ideas,’ she said. ‘It means different people from different backgrounds can contribute to something. It's about creating a melting pot and having different people from different aspects of life contributing to make something very beautiful in our own way.’
As well as attending the study centres, the activities for Diversity Fest 2023 also included a series of online Webinars, covering a range of topics including Inclusion in Higher Education, Access and Participation, and Disability Advice.