Category Archives: Middlesex University

Cfi Annual Conference:Diversity

Cfi Annual Conference: Diversity

19th May 2016, Hendon 10am-5pm

Keynote Speaker: Baroness Young of Hornsey

Call for Papers and Posters

The theme of the 2016 Cfi annual conference is Diversity. Middlesex University has one of the most diverse campuses in London with many staff and students representing different dynamics. Diversity at Middlesex is about treating everyone fairly regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation and religious beliefs while creating a positive, safe and nurturing environment for students and staff. More information about the conference can be found at

Colleagues are warmly invited to submit proposals for papers or posters by 12 February 2016. Proposals for presentations of group work and research being undertaken by doctoral students are welcome.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length and should be sent to the Cfi Administrator Nicola Skinner

Attendance is open to all colleagues. You can register at -:

‘Higher education should embrace diversity and difference as sources of inspiration and learning, yet many universities recruit students from a narrow range of backgrounds and base their reputations on how selective they are. If universities are really to be engines of social mobility, we need to work with diversity as a resource in all that we do, and rise to the challenge that higher education is not just about smart thinking but different thinking.’

Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University



Cultural literacy on the agenda at Middlesex event hosted by the BBC

Four diversity experts took part in a panel debate at Broadcasting House organised by the Centre for Ideas

Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, was among the experts who took part in a ‘Cultural Literacy’ event organised by Professor Dana Arnold from the Centre for Ideas (CfI) at Middlesex University.

Also on the panel at BBC Broadcasting House in central London was the BBC’s Head of Religion and Ethics Professor Aaqil Ahmed (second from right), journalist and broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (second from left), and Dean of the School of Law and Chair of the CfI  Professor  Joshua Castellino (right).

In a keynote address, Mr Phillips said the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe meant the concept of cultural literacy is more relevant than ever.

“We have seen what’s happening at Europe’s margins in the Mediterranean,” he said. “We are at the beginning of a huge movement of the human population across the globe.

“The questions we face now are small by comparison with those of what we are about to face.”

Later, during a four-way panel debate, Professor Castellino talked about the importance of students having a grasp of these issues and the responsibility of universities to instil strong values in their graduates.

“Student success depends on their cultural literacy,” he said. “Educational success is students graduating with an ability to speak truth to power.”

‘Cultural Literacy’ was part of an ongoing series of events organised by the  Cfi, which are designed to inform the debate around issues that have urgent implications beyond higher education as well as within it. In 2016, it will host a major conference on diversity at Middlesex University’s London campus.

This article was originally posted at