Trinity’s Equality Office will begin preparing an Inclusive Curriculum Project this year to reflect the “increasingly diverse” student population of the College.
The project’s main goals will be to create an accessible curriculum for undergraduates and postgraduates to ensure all students see themselves reflected in curricula and to increase their engagement with it. The project also aims to equip students with skills that will “contribute positively and work in a diverse, global environment”.
The initiative will be led by Rachel Hoare, who will serve as project director for the Undergraduate Inclusive Curriculum and Kumlesh Dev, who will act as the project director for the Postgraduate Inclusive Curriculum.
Speaking to The University Times, Associate Vice-Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Prof Clodagh Brook said: “We started thinking about this at the start of the pandemic, but this is quite a big project.”
“We’ve got project officers and we have two directors in place as well. The idea here is that it’s making the curriculum accessible so ensuring that it’s accessible in terms of disability and ensuring that everybody in the university is aware of these issues, so it’s not just a page on the website that tells you what to do but it’s really embedded in what we do.”
“It’s not just accessibility it’s also inclusion – so how we include people who come from other races to study here, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, genders and sexuaities so how those are actually included in the curriculum to make it a curriculum which is engaging.”
On the creation of an advisory board including students, Brook added: “We want students to be involved in that as well because sometimes you’re more at the cutting edge of these things.”
“I think and I hope it will make a big difference and that’ll be a project ongoing during this year and probably beyond that as well.”
The project will receive “significant” external funding from the Higher Education Authority according to an email to staff announcing the project signed by Brook.
Brook also revealed to The University Times that a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) office has been set up in Trinity with “a lot more people on hand.”
Describing the relevance of the EDI agenda to a mostly online academic year, Brook said: “What I’m finding is that there’s a recognition in all parts of the university that I’ve talked to over the past few months there’s a recognition that the word inclusion has never been more important.”
“If we don’t think about inclusion in terms of including our students in an online environment, how do we get a sense of Trinity across to everybody, how do we make sure that everybody is included in the new environment, how do we make sure that students don’t lose their degrees because of this.”
“So I think for me the word inclusion and ensuring that that’s absolutely central will actually help us a great deal in things that go beyond EDI perhaps.”