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Why I decided to become an Inclusive Practice Partner

What is the Inclusive Practice Partners (IPP) Scheme?

The Inclusive Practice Partners Scheme is a collaboration between students and academic staff at the University of Brighton. It is a programme that aims to diversify and decolonise the curriculum and pedagogy within higher education. What this essentially means is that students work alongside staff to produce a list of recommendations for improvement within these areas in their own subject area. I study Biomedical Science and I have forwarded changes in some of the literature searches, in how critical analysis is marked for future students, and recommended unconscious bias training and guest speakers within modules based on my own lived experiences of studying my course.   

Why did you choose to become an Inclusive Practice Partner?

I am a first-generation higher education student of BAME background. I am also studying a healthcare science degree, Biomedical Science, which is preparing me for a career in healthcare and the NHS, so inclusivity and diversity within healthcare education is very important to me.   

Especially in the current climate we are living through, it has become increasingly important to ensure all voices, regardless of background or ethnicity are heard and represented.   

I am also a keen advocate for the representation and visibility of people of colour in highly paid positions. The curriculum and the way that the courses are run is important in ensuring that as individuals we can see ourselves. As a university we Aspire to inspire individuals to reach their fullest potential while curating an environment that is representative of the cohort that is being taught.   

Why is this work so important?  

The IPP work is so important because it ensures student opinion and voices are heard. The changes we have recommended have become material, which is something I am very proud of. This is all a gradual process of ensuring our courses represent the cohort being taught, alongside the ever-changing workforce we will then enter after we graduate.   

Has being an Inclusive Practice Partner improved your relationship with the university?  

The work within the IPP has had a positive impact on my studies because I feel more like an intrinsic member of the academic team, with reassurance that changes are being made and opinions are valued. I have thrived in my academic life, seeking assistance when I need it more often! I have had invaluable experience as an individual working within higher education and this has improved my presentation skills immensely.   

Is this work that you would like to carry on?  

100% yes! I have had such a lovely and impactful experience so far, but this is just the beginning of a long road ahead!  


Will this work stay with you into your professional career?  

Yes. I intend on furthering my studies in medicine and education alongside. The IPP work has given me the skills in understanding how healthcare courses are run and how to implement changes in the curriculum to achieve a more inclusive working environment. These skills and learning from my peers and colleagues about their lived experiences have made me more considerate of where I should be more mindful of how I carry myself and interact with my peers, colleagues and future patients.   

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Neesha Sivaratnam • 8th October 2021

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