Equity and Diversity

UNSW has a diverse student population. It contains people from all 6 "equity groups" identified by the Higher Education Equity Support Program:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • women students in non-traditional fields of study
  • students from a non-English-speaking background
  • students with disabilities
  • rural and isolated students and
  • students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

As a teacher at UNSW, you have legislative responsibilities, under federal and state acts, to avoid discriminating against current and prospective students on the grounds of age, disability, sex, sexual preference, transgender or trans-sexuality, marital status, pregnancy, race,  or religious or political affiliation, views or beliefs.

The University is committed to encouraging all students to reach their maximum potential. Our strategies to remove barriers to learning and accommodate cultural differences fall into 3 broad categories:

  • creating a comfortable learning environment
  • making teaching and learning expectations explicit and clearly understood by all students, and
  • making content, teaching practice and assessment procedures culturally sensitive and inclusive.

Equity, diversity and you

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Your primary responsibility when interacting with students is to facilitate learning. To adapt your teaching to your students' needs, you must understand their backgrounds, their unique identities and abilities.

Before you can appreciate their uniqueness, you need to have a clear idea of your own background. What knowledge and attitudes do you bring to class, and how does this affect the way you present and the way students perceive you? All your interactions with learners are filtered through individual, personal and cultural values on both sides.

Early in your teaching career, make a conscious effort to increase your self-awareness. Being aware of the filters you habitually use is essential to your development as a teacher.

To help you increase your self-awareness, we have created a Reflective Exercise about Self-Awareness. This exercise is a good one to undertake when you are considering the next step in your teaching career.

Further resources

For information on inclusive teaching practice, visit the following pages on this website:

For more information see support for students.