The University’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment (ADBE) initiative ‘EDI Matters’, is an annual student competition ran by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) department.

This event features presentations from students, who share their research, personal experience and innovative ideas for a more equitable, diverse and inclusive future.

Becky Hicks, Waldeck’s Group HR Business Partner shared of her involvement:

“As an alumnus of Nottingham Trent University, I am immensely proud to see the strides being made towards equity, diversity, and inclusion within the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

“Being involved in initiatives like the EDI competition, ‘I Belong Here & My Voice Matters’, is not just about raising awareness for these crucial values in STEM careers; it’s also a testament to the power of collaboration between industry and academia.

“At Waldeck, we understand the importance of nurturing talent and ideas that reflect the diversity of our society. By sponsoring this competition, we are not only contributing to a more inclusive curriculum but also strengthening our relationship with local education providers. It’s truly inspiring to witness the innovative and passionate presentations from the students, which not only showcase their personal experiences but also their desire to drive change in the industry.”

More about the competition…

The first competition in 2022/23 was aimed at ‘Race Equality and The Future of the Industry’, and resulted in highly innovative ideas for how educators and employers can improve intersectional equity and inclusivity in industries that have a diversity crisis (Design Council 2021).

Participating students have since become EDI Ambassadors & worked in partnership with staff to drive improvements to the student experience, and also attracted support through a Seedcorn-funded project. This initiative was shared at Advance HE’s Co-creators Symposium in 2023 and have also been adapted by the Law School at the Open University.

Now in its second year, the Competition was delivered under the theme: ‘I Belong Here and My Voice Matters’. This innovative approach was aimed at allowing students to self-identify, rather than focusing on specific protected characteristics, and to submit entries in varied formats, their ideas will be explored towards increasing diversity in the curriculum and co-creating student experience.

This year’s competition was sponsored by several industry partners including Waldeck, Turner & Townsend, Bowmer & Kirkland, ISG, Arc Partnerships and Redwood.Rent, with prizes including a £400 cash prize and industry mentorship from sponsorship companies.

Many congratulations to all of this year’s contestants and to the winners on their well-derserved prizes.