How Does Diverse Campus Life Matter in Higher Education
Class diversity is very important for holistic development of a student. It fosters healthy growth of a student’s personality. Diversity helps to establish harmonious connect within a group. It promotes cross pollination of ideas and develops critical thinking abilities in young minds. It also helps students learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds and strengthens cross cultural communication skills.
Besides the above, diversity in class profile has also become a critical parameter for ranking of educational institutions. For quite some time now, policy makers have been emphasizing on the need of building heterogeneous learning environments. Interaction among multi-ethnic, multi-lingual students’ groups in colleges and universities will ultimately help to build better connected workplaces in a globalized world order.
Ways in which a diverse campus environment can benefit students : Why your college or university should aim at bringing diversity in classroom
#1. Diversity results in better understanding of human behaviour
Diversity leads to greater understanding of each other. In a diverse group, students quickly develop their interpersonal skills. When students embark on their college life, they are full of new ideas and thoughts. These ideas and thoughts can only be nurtured through interaction and exchange with each other. During exchange of ideas, students learn to accommodate different perspectives and reciprocate with respect and dignity.
Before joining college, students have a self-centred approach towards many things due to lack of exposure. Diversity at campus brings them closer to a set of varied issues and provides an informal learning set up. This informal and unstructured framework of experiential learning is vital for boosting confidence and opening up of your personality
When students closely converse with each other, they are exposed to different spectrum of life. In this process they learn many new things. This cross germination of experiences results in better understanding of human behaviour – its challenges, limitations and its issues.
Working in teams is an essential skill to perform at workplaces these days. It is a much sought after competency by corporates today. Diversity in batch profile sharpens your ability to connect with other people who have different belief systems, belong to a different ethnic group, and or pursue different lifestyles.
While working as a group, one should know how to respect each other to achieve a common objective. Diversity helps students increase self-awareness by building a better connect with people around them. Navigating in a diverse group of people requires sensitivity to human differences and the ability to relate with others coming from different cultural backgrounds.
Diversity on campus benefits students to learn from people from a variety of backgrounds. This encourages collaborations and fosters innovation. Researches across the globe have shown that the overall development of students is faster and more effective in a multi-cultural and multi-lateral learning environment. It has demonstrated a positive impact on solving human issues at workplace to a great extent. As a whole, diversity leads to strengthening of interoperability in human relations.
#2. Diversity leads to creative thinking
Diversity adds to your creative thinking abilities. Most out of the classroom experiential learning happens in groups. It is better if the group has people having diverse background with diversity of opinions on subjects. Diversity helps in expanding the knowledge base and fosters innovative thinking.
Progress of students steps up when they interact in a varied set of environment. Diverse campus settings helps to acquire life skills that are essential for their overall growth and development. Meeting with a diverse group of students provides a wonderful opportunity for gaining cross cultural knowledge. Cross cultural skills and understanding is very important to work in a globalized economy today.
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Exposure to diverse settings builds your capacity to think differently and innovatively. Several new ideas germinate when students interact with people of different socio-economic background. As a result, they are well prepared to work in a multi-focus settings later in their professional life. They become capable of finding solutions to business problems from a different and a more practical perspective. This by default stimulates inner creativity and enhances your critical thinking abilities.
Early exposure to a diverse set of environment during student life makes young minds more competitive to deal with corporate work culture. Companies today operate in a globalized world order in which one is required to deal with diverse markets. Business leaders believe that their companies’ competitiveness largely depends upon leveraging diversity to achieve business goals. They feel that diversity is good for achieving the targeted bottom line of their organization.
Many of the reputed institutional ranking agencies have also started acknowledging diversity in college campuses by assigning weightages to institutions based on diversity factor. As a result of this development, Universities and colleges are expanding their brand outreach to attract diverse group of aspirants by reaching to varied target markets. All this is leading educational institutions to look into how diversity can affect students’ college experience for the better.
#3. Exposure to diversity leads to better preparation for working life
Diversity helps in better understanding of the real world situations. It facilitates effective communication between people which is an essential skill to succeed in today’s work environment. A diverse college experience provides the right kind of platform to students for making them future ready for a global economy.
Generally, students do not have much exposure to practical realities of life before joining college. It is their first contact point with a heterogeneous world. A diverse college life provides them opportunities to face real life challenges independently. Interaction with people from diverse groups opens new vistas for them to explore nuances of the practical world.
Today, companies operate with different workforce, different clients on a global scale. No matter what kind of job you eventually take up, you will be expected to involve yourself in diverse circles. Early exposure to a diverse environment will certainly lay a strong foundation for building your social abilities. This experience will enhance your career prospects because you will be able to work more efficiently in teams.
#4. Diversity in college or university campus leads to interpersonal development
Interpersonal development is a process by which we interact with others around us. As students have access to different perceptions, their self-awareness level enhances and they develop communication skills to work with other people around them.
Engaging with diverse groups of individuals in college also enriches your networking skills. Students gain different experiences of life that results in co-creation of knowledge. Students while at college should focus on taking maximum advantage of a diverse campus life to sharpen their interpersonal skills. Such skills acquired early will help you in maintaining effective relationships at workplace later.
#5. Diversity facilitates spirit of collaborative learning among students
Collaborative learning helps students work together efficiently by building connections, expressing opinions and emotions appropriately, and negotiating to come to an agreement.
When students interact with different set of people, they learn to adjust to their temperaments. This improves their collaborative skills. Collaborative skills are one of the most sought after competencies in jobs today. People in jobs are required to work in teams having people from different backgrounds and beliefs, It is crucial that one is able to handle diverse viewpoints and navigate through a common consensus.
Collaboration produces better results and helps to build critical thinking abilities so that you are in a better position to provide solutions to your teams.
Campus life proves to be unexpectedly enlightening for many students. For several of them, it opens plethora of opportunities in terms of unbridled freedom and taste of the real world. As students transition through phases of college life, their experiences become rich with diverse engagement preparing the groundwork for their chosen careers.
#6 Diversity is the key to succeed in a globalized work culture
With advent of collaborative technologies such as social media etc., all of us have to work and interact with diverse group of people. It is therefore very important for students to learn how to accommodate different opinions. They must be able to appreciate cross cultural issues.
Diversity enriches and impacts an individual’s college life in a great way. Studying in a campus environment where there is a mix of people with different backgrounds and different interests is an education in itself. Life at campus allows you to meet people you may not have met earlier or would never be able to meet had you been studying in a homogenous campus environment. Going to a college which enables you to meet people from diverse hobbies, religions, ethnicities, or backgrounds is more likely to groom your overall personality in a positive way. You get tremendous opportunity to learn, re-learn and unlearn a lot from various exposure of different types of people.
In a way, diversity in college prepares you for life after graduation. Once you graduate out of college, you are headed into a world full of unpredictable situations, complexities, uncertainties and ambiguities of life. You never know what kind of people you will eventually meet or what kind of situations await you, what your career will be, or where you’ll live? Being at a college with some diversity will benefit you to meet people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, ideas, and beliefs because out of college, it is most likely you will be encountering diverse people.
Diversity will make you a more social and acceptable person. Initially you may find it difficult to connect with people who are different from you. But gradually as your relationship progresses you will be at much ease to open up and start sharing your ideas and opinion. Try to adjust yourself to a multitude of conversations and initiate conversations with the people who are different than you. Expanding your mental horizon to the world around you during campus life will allow you to talk to people a lot more openly and exchange knowledge, ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles freely. At a college that promotes diversity, it is not difficult to socialize comfortably and engage yourself in a more interesting and enjoyable activity.
As our nation becomes more diverse with social and financial inclusion in higher education, it is crucial that institutions of higher learning reflect this diversity in college campuses. It is important for nation building that communities of people that thrive together are exposed to diversity in education early so that Indian students become more competitive in an increasingly global economy.
Choosing your future college is obviously a personal choice. But in order to develop yourselves into a well-informed personality it is important that you interact with a mix of people. And college is the right place to get this kind of opportunity.