What the world’s top universities need to do to win over students
6.50am: Students at the University of Technology Sydney are being asked to send a message to their governments that their university should be open to people of all backgrounds.
The University of the Sunshine Coast has been hit with a huge barrage of complaints from students who feel that the institution has a hostile environment and has not been able to deal with the increasing number of students from minority backgrounds.
University of Technology students are being told that they must send a letter to the government of NSW explaining that “the University of Sydney is a university that welcomes diversity of thought, not only in terms of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability, but in terms to the diverse cultural backgrounds of its students”.
The letter is to be sent to the university’s executive director, Dr Robert Farrar, and will also be sent out to other staff.
The letter was drafted by students on the university campus and was written in the hope that the university would change its policies.
The university, which is not located in the city of Sydney, has a diverse population of more than 6,000 people.
However, the students said that they had received messages from other students and staff who have told them that the University’s response to students’ concerns was not good enough.
“We don’t want to hear that we’re being targeted for this,” said Sam Carter, a third year student.
“The University’s policies are being written by students, they’re just writing these messages for the purpose of getting a response.”
In a statement, the university said that the letter was sent to Mr Farrad as part of a “wide-ranging response” to the concerns raised by students.
“This is a matter of national importance for the university and we are working with the NSW and Victorian governments to identify and respond to these concerns,” the statement said.
“As the university is a global university, the University is committed to a respectful and inclusive environment where people of different backgrounds can study, work, study and live together.”
It said that while the university had been inundated with emails from students in recent weeks, it was taking the issue seriously and that it was “reviewing our processes to better address these concerns”.
The university said it had also started an online survey to find out how students felt about the letter.
Dr Farrars letter is a response to the students, with students from all backgrounds being asked about their views on the letter and the university.
“It’s been a really long time coming,” Dr Farras said.
“I can’t imagine that the overwhelming majority of students feel that they have been discriminated against.”
If I were to put it in the words of one of my students, I would say: ‘The only way you can feel safe is if you are safe from the University’.