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University promotes cultural awareness

4 March 2008

The University is launching a new half-day training programme for staff on cultural awareness.

Working with international staff and students is a regular feature of university life and our international community brings a rich cultural and racial diversity to the University of Bristol. Understanding and appreciating intercultural differences helps promote clearer communication, breaks down barriers and builds trust and confidence.

The new course explores different cultural norms (for example, communication, time-keeping and personal space), the phenomenon of culture shock and how to manage diversity successfully within the context of UK law and culture. It is suitable for all staff, particularly international staff or those working with international staff. It aims to increase staff members’ ability to communicate and work effectively with colleagues from other cultures; reduce cross-cultural misunderstandings and subsequent costs and delay; and improve understanding and appreciation of intercultural differences.

The programme has been devised by Dr Siobhan O'Malley, the University’s Diversity Trainer from Staff Development, and Ri’Anna Stueber, Senior International Adviser in the International Office, and will be run through the staff development programme.

The first session is on 12 March at 1.30 pm and can be booked online through the Staff Development website.

Courses can also be run on request. For more information, please contact Dr Siobhan O’Malley,, tel 0117 331 6751.


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