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Advancing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Exeter through Cultural Competence

We are working with the National Centre of Cultural Competence (NCCC) at Georgetown University (USA) on a pioneering new programme to apply cultural competence to advance equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the University of Exeter.

Developing a Community of Practice in Cultural Competence - Apply Now!

Exeter and NCCC will be working together advance EDI at Exeter by piloting a programme to establish a Community of Practice of leaders in cultural competence. The programme will work with the Community of Practice to:

  • Define cultural competence within a range of contexts and define the rationales for cultural competence at Exeter
  • Identify and examine the implications/benefits of culturally competent systems, behaviours and processes on outcomes and experiences for staff and students
  • Identify how the benefits of cultural competence could be applied
  • Develop actions, projects and next steps
  • Share the experience and knowledge gained with the wider community.

The community will be composed of approximately 24 staff from across the institution with the ability to develop, deliver and lead change in their respective areas; this could be at a local or a strategic level.

To find out more about this programme and to apply please:

  •  Read about the programme here

Applications are now closed. The training is due to take place on 8th – 12th June 2020. 

Cultural competence is defined in many ways but fundamentally it is the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people regardless of difference.

Cultural competence applies to individual behaviours but also organisational systems, processes and culture.

Being ‘culturally competent’ means having the knowledge and skills to be aware of one’s own cultural values and the implications of these for making respectful, reflective and reasoned choices.

Cultural competence provides a framework and set of approaches to help ensure that the needs of all people and communities are met in a responsive and respectful way.

We are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment which supports equality of opportunity, values diversity and where everyone can study, work and have fun without discrimination and harassment. We will not tolerate harassment and discrimination.

The work of the Provost Commission and associated equality, diversity and inclusivity initiatives since May 2018 have highlighted that at institutional, system and individual level we need to be more aware of people’s cultures and experiences. For example, our Exeter Speaks Out reporting tools show that some members of our community do not feel included, respected and safe. Our reporting tools also show that harassment can occur in all types of spaces- teaching, domestic, social and study. This is also reflected in national reports about the sector.

Cultural Competence offers a framework and set of approaches to support organisations and individuals to be more aware of other people’s cultures and experiences. Implementing these at Exeter will provide an additional route by which we can further our objectives related to equality, diversity and inclusivity alongside other actions. Our new EDI Priorities sets out as one of the three key objectives to promote knowledge and competence “enabling and ensuring meaningful and impactful change through knowledge, awareness, reflective learning and cultural competence”.

As a result, we are working with the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at Georgetown University to pilot a programme which will generate and apply expertise in Cultural Competence at our university. This is the first time such a programme has been run at a UK HEI. The programme is being overseen by a Steering Group chaired by the Provost and we will be evaluating our effectiveness to understand the impact and potential of such a programme and we hope to share this with the sector. 

The NCCC at Georgetown is a world leader in Cultural Competence and provides national level (within the USA) leadership in this area as well as generating new knowledge about cultural competence and providing training. The NCCC is led by Professor Tawara Goode who participated in the University of Exeter Individuality lecture series in 2018/19 and has provided insights into the benefits of using cultural competence. She will be leading the delivery of the programme in Exeter.