Trinity-INC's Student Insights
Trinity-INC Student Partners contribute on an ongoing basis to the Project, including sharing experiences of inclusion and exclusion in their teaching and learning experiences at Trinity. Below are resources (posters, podcasts, blogs and more) on lots of different topics related to equality, diversity, and inclusion developed by the Trinity-INC Student Partners as well as other students from across the Trinity community.
Scroll through our various Trinity-INC student-developed resources. Feel free to download any of the posters and display them in your School or Department. They are also compiled together as one download at the bottom of the page for those interested in all of them!
Typically, engineers will have to take Maths modules during their courses, and sometimes can struggle to understand why they need to retain the theories and concepts they learn during their Maths modules. But, these theories and concepts will be applicable and necessary for understanding the a lot of material in their regular Engineering modules.
So, final-year Maths student, Ryan McGowan, worked closely with an academic from the School of Maths to create some resources that will help engineering students understand why the they need to retain the theories and concepts they learn in their Maths modules. While, also making the links between the Maths and Engineering modules more explicit with exam examples and an interactive flowchart. Check out Ryan's poster below and keep your eye out on Blackboard for their interactive flowchart which highlights the links between the modules.
English Student, Alice Payne, provided advice on how to create an accessible reading list. Being mindful of these simple steps to making your reading lists more accessible will have huge benefits for so many students. Check out what Alice has to say! Download the poster and plain text version below.
Suggestion from Navika Mehta for the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project Summer Student Partner Programme 2021
Students do not have a stake in filling out end of module surveys - due to lack of incentive and interest. Furthermore, waiting for feedback until the end of the module means lecturers may not be aware until much later if there is something they could change during the module that could make a huge difference to some students.
By carrying out a module interim feedback process, you can understand the inclusivity needs of students in real time. It can be flexible in terms of when and how you want to organise it.
Flexibility of the survey: The format is entirely up to the lecturer – it can be in-person/zoom using smaller focus groups conducted by TAs, it can be a quick online survey, it can be in the form of an informal assignment e.g. – “max. 500 words on inclusivity in relation to this module”?
In this poster, Kristen Anderson, a student from the Trinity School of Medicine, highlights the differences and importance of equity and justice over equality in a system which seeks to address the needs of all.
Alex Siekmann, Sarah Lawler and River Gilles Cooke from QSoc developed this poster to guide teaching staff on how to respond sensitively and appropriately to Trans* students. Key message: it’s ok to make mistakes, what’s key is to catch yourself, apologise, and continue on! Download the poster or plain text version below.
One of our Student Partners, Sarah Molloy, took on a huge task of researching allyship, particularly, How to be an Ally. Check out some of Sarah's advice around allyship and what you can do to show support for your peers, colleagues or friends.
If you have any recommendations for the resource document, please let us know and it will be added to the list.
Engineering student and Trinity-INC Student Partner, Eva Cunningham, shares some ways in which teaching practices in STEM can be more inclusive. Little adjustments can make such a huge difference for so many students.
This podcast by Amirah Ayeinde and Zainab Kareem deals with issues regarding race and microaggressions in Trinity that can result in students from diverse backgrounds feeling excluded, ‘othered’, and can subsequently result in lack of self esteem. We use our personal experiences to try and open the eyes of a listener to the unfortunate reality that many of us face on a daily basis. Listen to the podcast or download the Audio Transcript or poster below.
One-year masters student and Trinity-INC Student Partner, Syeda Nikhat Mohsin, took what she learned from a year in Trinity and wrote an article to help support incoming masters students (but is relevant for any incoming students) to know their way around Trinity. This is intended to help students settle in as quick as possible so they can place more focus on their studies.
Know Your Way Around Trinity
One of the most exciting parts of a student’s journey is higher education – you’ve chosen a course that you are interested in, applied to a university after lots of research and finally, you have gotten accepted. Congratulations! It’s a long process that requires a lot of your time and effort and you’ve done a great job so far. However, that bit is only just the beginning, especially if you are moving continents and have to settle yourself in a new country with little support from everything you’ve known. But, fret not! Know Your Way Around Trinity is built to make your transition from your home country to Dublin a smoother process. Here’s a short guide on a few things that every incoming student must know about.
Finding a house is perhaps the toughest thing to do in Dublin presently. It’s even harder to find a place without actually being present in the city. While they are expensive, Student Accommodations are helpful options to consider and need to be reserved/booked much earlier during the year – sometimes even before you’ve gotten your acceptance letter if you’re very sure about your education in Ireland. Looking at temporary accommodation options or finding an apartment as a group could help as well. A major plus is if there’s someone in the city who can have a look at the place. There are multiple groups on Facebook / Whatsapp which are dedicated to helping people find the right home and tenant. However, when looking at individual homes or rooms as your place of stay, one thing to make a note of is to never pay any deposit upfront without actually viewing the place and signing the contract. Many students have fallen to the scam only to find that the property they have virtually viewed doesn’t even exist.
2. On-campus Job Opportunities
While your initial stay in Dublin may be financially supported, it’s not surprising to find students looking at part-time opportunities to fund their living expenses. Finding the right balance between your work-time and study-time is the key to excel in both sections, this can be made much easier if you are able to find an on-campus opportunity. So, how do we go about this? Keeping an eye out on social media accounts by groups and communities associated with the university is always helpful. The accounts start posting hiring calls during the months June-August, and if something suits your fancy, contacting them through the mentioned means is the best way to secure a part-time role even before you’re here! Another option is to check out My Career Connect, regularly but this will depend on you having access to it immediately.
Note: Working in Ireland requires a valid PPSN. For more details, visit here.
Yes, your forex card does the trick for the initial few weeks, but having an Irish bank account helps majorly in conducting transactions within the country in an easy manner and feel financially secure, especially if you’ve to indulge in a bank transfer. There are two main banks you can reach out to for the same: AIB and Bank of Ireland. Both the banks allow you to create an account virtually where you have to provide a few verification documents (proof of residence in Ireland, valid passport, and a photo ID, etc). When the online verification is completed, the bank will further contact you with details about your account. The process should take roughly about a week if everything goes smoothly. Another alternative is Revolut, which follows a digital banking system and is operable in multiple countries all over the world.
Trinity College Dublin is home to about 50 sports clubs and more than 120 societies. Once you have settled into university life, there’s a fresher’s week held in the month of September. Held on the main campus, you will have the opportunity to have a look at what options are available to further your existing interests or explore new ones. The club membership fee is quite minimal too. If you’re a master’s student with a very hectic schedule, try and join a couple and make time to remain consistent with them. It’s a fun way to meet new people and discover new experiences.
5. Food and Other Necessities
Securing a home with essential furnishings in Ireland isn't always guaranteed. Yet, a single trip to your local supermarket can provide everything you need. For furniture and affordable clothing items such as raincoats, duvets, and pillows, Dunnes is the ideal choice. For everyday grocery, Tesco, Lidl and Dunnes are good options to explore. These stores have deals nearly everyday or on a weekly basis, shop around a bit to find out what works best for you or which quality you prefer the most. Often, it’s a mix of all that ends up most suitable.
Luas (tram), Dart, and the Dublin Bus Service are the public transport options available in Ireland. As a student, commuting to the university is a regular occurrence, and purchasing tickets daily may not be effective cost or time wise. Leap card, a renewable travel smart card that can be loaded with funds, is a must! You are eligible for subsidised travel fares, so applying for a Student Leap card upon your arrival in Ireland is advisable. You can apply online here, provide your details, and make a payment for the same. While waiting for your Student Leap Card, consider getting a visitor Leap Card and load it with a small amount. How do you use a Leap Card? You’re supposed to swipe at the reader before taking the Luas, and swipe again when you get off. Similar rules apply to the Dart which is the rail service, however, this is usually at the entrance of the train station before you walk onto the platform and when you exit it. If you are travelling by the bus, you will have to swipe only once at the entrance. If it’s a short travel distance, let the driver know which stop you want to get off on just so that you aren’t charged the fixed base price.
7. Student Partner Programme
And finally, a look at the Student Partner Programme, an initiative of the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project, which works to embed the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion across all teaching and learning at Trinity College Dublin. There is an ongoing year-round engagement with students, who share their experiences of inclusion and exclusion within the curriculum in Trinity to help foster accessibility, inclusion, and amplify the voices of the diverse student body. It also aims to empower students to develop their skills and harness their life experiences to create a community where everyone feels as though they belong and can strive towards their full potential. Check out the website to discover more.
Martin Doolan and Jimi Donohoe heard from 21 Mature Students about their perspectives on inclusion within the curriculum at Trinity College Dublin. They asked questions including: "As a mature student, do you feel that the curricula set by lecturers are sufficiently inclusive of you?" Here are a few insights into what the students told them. Download the posters or plain text version below.
Medicine student and Trinity-INC Student Partner, William Reynolds, highlights some inclusive teaching practices they encountered in the School of Medicine, and also shares some recommendations that they think would help more students.
Here we hear about the importance of representation among teaching staff. Cathleen Joyce shares what it meant to her to have someone teaching her who was from a minority background. Download the poster or plain text version of Cathleen's blog below.
"My name is Cathleen Joyce, I am member of the Travelling Community. I studied at
Trinity for five years and recently completed a degree in Social Studies (social work).
Throughout my studies, I did not see myself represented in the university in terms of
teaching staff or fellow students. I was the only Traveller student in my class, and there
was only one person from an ethnic minority among the staff. Here I want to talk about
how important this one person having to represent me and be a role model for
someone like me was, and to call upon Trinity – and all universities – to continue to
work towards a more diverse and all-inclusive teaching board.
I feel for people who are coming from diverse backgrounds because I know for myself
as a Traveller how hard it has been to access education. Many of my community would
have left education early. For me I was lucky that, despite leaving education early, the
path I took led me eventually to college. However, there are few spaces where I feel I
belong and, in many spaces, I feel afraid to speak out because I fear I will be
discriminated against. College was the same: I was uncomfortable to be open about
being from the Traveller Community. So, to protect myself, when I started College and
even throughout my first placement, I didn’t share.
Early on in my college days, I remember a class led by the staff member I mentioned
who was from an ethnic minority in which there was a debate related to the Travelling
Community. At that time, I wasn’t confident to speak up for myself. However, in
observing her and with her encouragement, I gradually learned to be more open. I
found my voice and learned how to use it to assert myself. Seeing others from other
ethnic minorities using their voice too, gave me more confidence.
I do not mean that women, or people from ethnic minorities or with disabilities, should
be added to staff as tokens for diversity, but that the College should make more of an
effort to support such individuals and communities. These people are not only just as
capable to work but are so important to show students like me that someone from an
ethnic minority – or with a disability – can also be a lecturer or professor or social
Seeing more people from ethnic minorities on board teaching staff would have
provided me with a deeper sense of belonging and identity within Trinity. We all like to
see ourselves wherever we go, to know we fit in, that we belong. If I saw someone from
my background, or who came from a similar background, I wouldn’t have felt so alien. It
goes beyond words, however. Back to the staff member who was from an ethnic
minority: her being there, showed me that I could do this: “If she can do this, so can I”.
It’s inspirational and motivational. I cannot express how big a deal it was for me to
meet a fellow Traveller who was a primary school teacher. I had never met a Traveller
who was a teacher before. To see myself represented in such a profession was so
uplifting. Any space you go into, you want to feel like you fit in; you want to see people
you can relate too. It just makes things easier.
For other ethnic minorities too, to see themselves represented may also offer them
similar encouragement and a sense of identity and belonging. The same may go for a
person who has a disability. I feel inclusivity is subject that is quite often discussed in
Trinity and one can see this represented among the students at Trinity at times, but
there is a way to go among teaching staff."
In this poster, Husna Yassin, Trinity-INC Student Partner and a Trinity Health Science Student, highlights the need to incorporate depictions of dermatologic conditions on skins of colour. This increases student knowledge of how skin conditions can present differently across skin colours, preparing them to treat patients from all walks of life. Download the poster below.
In this poster, Fadilah Salawu, Law student, presents the "case", concluding with suggestions for a greater focus on interactive learning, a teaching practice and content that inclusively reflects the diverse social backgrounds of students, maintaining the accessibility advantages of online learning post-COVID, creating safe spaces to address the concerns and needs of every learner, and a shared sense of care for student morale and mental health, with higher consideration of student needs through greater avenues for communication and feedback. Download the poster below!
Physics student Alex Fay gives advice around supporting students with Hidden Burdens. A lot of the time students have extra responsibilities on top of their studies. Some students might have to work to support their studying and others may have to care for a family member and this is often overlooked as a barrier. Check out what Alex has to say when it comes to students with Hidden Burdens! Download the poster or plain text version with infographics below.
As part of the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Summer Student Partner Programme, we looked at the Universal Design for Learning Framework (AHEAD, 2017). This handbook draws on the UDL Framework to offer teachers and staff suggestions of actions that can be taken to enhance different aspects of college life. Download the poster or the full UDL Guide below.