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James

May 23rd, 2024

Studying through adversity: how equity, diversity and inclusion works at LSE

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

James

May 23rd, 2024

Studying through adversity: how equity, diversity and inclusion works at LSE

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

University life — for both undergraduates and postgraduates – can be a bit difficult. Especially if you’re trying to navigate it with a mental or physical impairments, are from an under-represented ethnic, racial, or religious background, if English is not your native language, or if you are in need of financial support. I believe that LSE offers the best help of any university in London to support you on your professional journey. The School will go out of their way to accommodate your unique situation, whether it’s providing comprehensive financial, accessibility and inclusion support – or simply providing a platform for your voice to be heard to make meaningful changes in our community.

For me, I’ve been lucky enough to get support for my mental health throughout my time at LSE from the Disability and Mental Health Service. Their support – including 30 free talk therapy sessions with a Mental Health Adviser – has been indispensable to my success. Due to the nature of my disability of schizophrenia – which has a unique salient socio-economic history and connotation – I often struggle to form relationships, maintain associative contacts with friends and colleagues, and establish a “third-person” perspective on my own work. My programme, MSc Philosophy of Economics and the Social Sciences, has helped me to see myself as a contributor to academic discourse that goes beyond ableism, fostering inclusivity, tolerance of (neuro)diversity, and intersubjective understanding; my peers are regularly asked to place themselves in my shoes – and I in theirs.

I’ve been involved within my Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method, with the Minorities in Philosophy (MAP) group. MAP is an advocacy group for students and academics from backgrounds that have been traditionally under-represented in philosophy. The initiative has hubs all over the world, including LSE. So, why MAP? MAP has the intention to create spaces where members of minority groups are intellectually challenged, encouraged to participate in philosophical dialogue and upend the entrenched norms of what it means to be a philosopher. For example, MAP activities can include mentoring, reading groups and social meetings. MAP has been incredibly helpful for me and other students who face personal challenges. The group, consisting of students and faculty, have encouraged me to reach out, connect, and engage with my peers. With international students at the School making up approximately 70% of the student body, you may feel uncertainty and face challenges when moving to a new country, or even experience some type of discrimination or exclusion. Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. LSE is committed to providing a positive, inclusive, diverse and safe community for all of its members. The School will not tolerate harassment, bullying or discrimination – and neither should you.

The School is a community that accepts differences and celebrates them. How? LSE recognises that life is messy – not all our paths are linear, and there’s more than one meaning of the word “success.” There’s a plethora of services available to help you cope with difficulties, from dedicated LSE LIFE Study Advisers (offering one-to-one sessions) and LSE LIFE talks and workshops, to adjustments and accommodations (which the School will put in place to support your study and assessments). Exercise spaces may be a great place for you to sweat away your stress, or why not attend some of the upcoming wellbeing activities held in the Faith Centre, welcome to all?

As we face a world where our differences can unknowingly divide us, I’m happy to say that LSE – and in particular, the MAP group in my department – has provided me with shelter and inspiration. I hope that the community at LSE and beyond can overcome challenges, together.

If you’re considering LSE, know that the student body is healthy in body, mind and spirit, and that your effort that you put into your application is well worth it.

About the author

James

I’m James, an MSc student in the Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method studying the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. My first MSc was online at the University of Edinburgh in Philosophy, Science and Religion. I’m passionate about philosophy, political economy, economic theology, and the social sciences. I’m always looking for new non-fiction to read and I’m also an avid tennis player and sailor.

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