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Cultural diversity is a fact of life, especially at the University of Surrey where over 30% of our students originate from over 130 different countries. The concept of a ‘Cultural Academy’ was born from a concern and a belief that we could do more to learn from our cultural diversity. Cultural Academy is not part of the formal curriculum but a process, founded on the idea of appreciative enquiry that requires voluntary participation from both students and staff. Through a series of workshops, planning meetings and a student-led conference extending over five months, participants (students, facilitators and mentors) shared their experiences and understandings of culture and its influences on their lives. Infrastructures to support learning included an on-line social networking space to encourage conversation and the recording and sharing of experience , a mentoring scheme to support and encourage learning and to validate learning, a new learning through experience award to value and recognise the learning, a wiki to support the production and accumulation of knowledge gained through enquiry. Various pedagogic processes within the learning process will be explored at the presentation.
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