07 September 2005

DIT today launched its ?Embracing Diversity in DIT? campaign at a seminar in the Aungier Street campus this morning.  Head of Lifelong Learning, Dr. Jen Harvey, said the campaign would be reflected in a range of activities throughout the year at faculty level, at institute level and in the range of services available to DIT students through the Institute and through DIT Students? Union.

Shigeto Wada, Music Technology Centre, DIT Rathmines making a point at the seminar on Embracing Diversity in DIT.

Colleagues at the launch of DITs Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategy, which took place during the Embracing Diversity seminar.

Welcoming the concept, Professor Brian Norton said in his opening address that Ireland, as an open knowledge economy, needed to know and understand other cultures and Irish people needed to be able to work with others.  He said ?This campaign will focus attention on the major advantages diversity offers us, and during this year we not only intend to embrace that diversity but also harness it for the benefit of everyone in the Institute.  We will look at how we do things and aim to remove unnecessary barriers that are placed in the way of students, either in the curriculum or in how it is delivered.?

Professor Norton, Ms Bernadette Farrell, DITSU Vice President and keynote speaker at the Embracing Diversity Seminar, Dr. Jen Harvey who organised the event and Professor Frank Mc Mahon

Two keynote speakers addressed the seminar ? Professor Áine Hyland, Vice-President, UCC and Ms Bernadette Farrell, Vice President of DIT Students? Union, with responsibility for academic and student issues.  In her address, Professor Hyland focussed on the variations in students? abilities and in particular the ?multiple intelligences? they possess.  Drawing on Gardner?s theory, she said that we must recognise that intelligence is not fixed, and that we must adapt teaching to allow students to use their intelligence profile.  Ms Farrell emphasised that college life is a series of learning experiences, not just in coursework but also in a student?s involvement in other activities.  She said the Students? Union had made a commitment to expand the range of activities run for students to be more inclusive.  For example, non-alcohol events and tours of Dublin city for international students and students from other parts of Ireland are planned.

Professor Áine Hyland, Vice President of UCC, delivering the keynote address at the Embracing Diversity Seminar

In an open forum at the end of the seminar, suggestions were put forward by participants for ways in which general awareness of diversity can be increased throughout the Institute, and a programme of activities will be published.

Professor Norton, Dr. Noirin Hayes, Professor Aine Hyland, Dr. Jen Harvey and Professor Frank McMahon at the launch of the 'Embracing Diversity in DIT' campaign.  Professor Hyland, who is Vice President of UCC, was keynote speaker at the event.

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