We were delighted with the diverse range of entries for our Cultural Connections Vlog competition. This summer, we asked students to work together to learn about other countries and cultures and reflect on similarities and differences. The £1000 prize fund was awarded to those who demonstrated cultural awareness, critical reflection and innovative collaborative ideas.
Applicants for the competition were paired up based on their expertise of the countries and cultures they were willing to discuss, then the couples formed a relationship where regular video calls were had, whatever the time zone, to learn about another culture, perhaps a few phrases of a new language or even an individual commentary about a place of interest introduced by their partner.
The entries saw students from Trinidad & Tobago to Taiwan and highlighted the connections we can form with other cultures, merely by opening up a dialogue, even when travelling may be an issue in our post-pandemic world.
The judges, Vassilis Konstantinou (Pro Vice Chancellor International), Professor Brian Smith (Director of Academic Enhancement), Lysette Gauna (Head of Brand and Content) and Helen Connies-Laing (National Director of International & Pathway Programmes), were looking for the participants’ ability to demonstrate knowledge of another country/culture, demonstrate critical awareness of similarities and differences and have a balanced contribution by each participant.
Meet our winners below, and find out what Helen Connies-Laing thought made their Cultural Connections videos stand out.
Naomi and Akosua – First Prize
Naomi Richards, studying the LPC at our Liverpool campus, scooped the top prize with Akosua Ofori-Asumadu, who studies the GDL at our Manchester campus.
“The winning pair presented Trinidad & Tobago and Ghana. They covered a wide range of topics, and showed great knowledge about many aspects of each other’s countries, including clothing, traditional customs and places to visit. They had a friendly, easy manner and the vlog seemed like two old friends catching up for a chat and a good laugh. Overall, both students demonstrated enthusiasm and respect for each other’s country and culture. A very enjoyable vlog.”
Ivy and Isabella – Second Prize
Ivy Magnetico, a part-time LPC student at Leeds campus, teamed up with Isabella Kirabo, who is studying the LLB at our Machester campus, for the second place prize.
“Ivy and Isabella presented The Philippines and Uganda. Through comparing national attitudes to a range of concepts, including food, family structures and superstitions, they demonstrated a deep understanding of each other’s cultures and showed keen awareness and genuine appreciation of similarities and differences.”
Glory, Sanah and Belle – Third Place
Our third place prize went to the trio of Glory Ayara, studying the LPC at our Leeds campus, Sanah Kiani studying an MA Law at our Birmingham location and Belle Yin who is studying an MA Law at our Bloomsbury campus.
“This group presented Nigeria, Kashmir and Taiwan. Their vlog evidenced a great deal of critical analysis, as they drew on factors affecting each country, such as colonialism and occupation and then discussed the issue of national identity in light of this. The three students showed in-depth understanding of and respect for each other’s countries and contexts.”
“More than one hundred students participated in the competition. It was very hard to select the winners, as all entries received were so good, and every vlog reflected sincere interest in and respect for other cultures. During the course of the competition, we also witnessed new friendships being formed- across different courses, campuses, countries and continents. Students forged bonds with people who they might never have met if we were all on campus as normal- and we are confident that these bonds and friendships will stand the test of time. Many participants observed that, despite apparent superficial differences, we can all get on with each other and find much more in common than we might initially think. This is such a valuable lesson. We are immensely proud of all the participants and we enjoyed watching their informative and often entertaining vlogs. We have all learned a great deal from this competition.”
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