Contexts for Diversity and Gender Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion: Volume 12

Cover of Contexts for Diversity and Gender Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Subject:

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

The chapters in this book focus on how higher education can cultivate and promote a more inclusive and equitable environment in higher education, especially with regard to gender diversity as well as those non-conforming, non-heteronormative groups. The chapters in this volume cover the broad picture/context of diversity in various countries as well as a specific focus on gender. The chapters discuss the factors relating to inclusion and equity, what is driving campuses to be more inclusive, and practical steps and case studies that higher education institutions can implement to create more inclusive and equitable learning environments. Finally, this volume discusses the need for inclusive leadership which involves building institutional capacity for inclusion and creating the right conditions under which inclusion and equity can grow and thrive and crafting policies and practices whose end result is to create a culture of inclusion.

Abstract

Few people with special educational needs (SEN) had access to higher education in Brazil until the 1980s, mainly due to their lack of access to basic education and a lack of specific public policies for this population. It was only in 2003 that the Brazilian government implemented strategies for the dissemination of the factors referring to inclusive education. The objective was one of the support for the transformation of educational systems into inclusive educational systems. As these policies are recent; few studies have been carried out in Brazil. According to Brazilian statistical data, the number of enrollments connected to special education in regular basic education classes, in 2015, was almost 751,000 students, while in higher education in diverse graduation courses the number was 38,000. In this sense, this chapter aims to unveil and discuss Brazilian public policies for the access and permanence of SEN students in higher education. Reflections will also be presented related to the evolution of the number of enrollments of students with specific SEN (visual, physical, hearing, and intellectual) in basic and higher education, as well as the implementation of public policies focused on this population in a Brazilian context.

Abstract

The chapter looks at policies regarding access to higher education (HE) for the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel (PAMI). Recently, HE among PAMI has expanded compared to previous years, but the proportion of PAMI students in Israeli institutions of HE (14%) is still not equal to the percentage of PAMI (20%). The Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel has been trying to increase the accessibility of PAMI students in institutions of HE through the implementation of several projects and academic programs and the expectation of reaching 17% in 2021. The chapter has three main aims: (1) to describe the decisions and recommendations of CHE for increasing the rate of peripheral students in HE, (2) to trace their implementation in HE institutions, and (3) to investigate the influences of these policies in schools through interviews with secondary school principals and secondary students in PAMI schools to understand how they act to improve students’ awareness of these initiatives and to improve access to HE for their graduates. A qualitative-phenomenological study analyzes policy guidelines regarding HE for PAMI as set out by the two main committees established by the Israeli CHE. The findings may have international significance since similar difficulties are encountered in access to HE among underprivileged or peripheral populations in other world states.

Abstract

For much of its 43-year history, the community college sector in Jamaica has been plagued by perceptions of inferior status and mediocre tertiary education offerings. The Jamaican colleges have responded to the criticisms by aggressively pursuing quality assurance initiatives such as program accreditation, expanded course offerings, and ongoing curriculum review. This chapter traces the birth and development of the community college movement in Jamaica and the Caribbean and acknowledges the significant achievement of the Jamaican colleges in increasing access to tertiary education. The chapter also examines threats to the open access policy that may have serious implications for education equity and quality. These include inadequate funding, limited infrastructure to support the curriculum, low enrolment of specialized groups, and unsatisfactory completion and graduation rates. Recommendations for policy and practice are proposed.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse disparity in Nepal’s Higher Education sector along gender, geographical and economic dimensions. The inequality in education is analysed for indicators that relate to both access and quality of higher education. The analysis is done for two time periods for observing trends in the indicators of higher education. The chapter analyses both demand side and supply side elements of access to higher education such as availability of higher education institutions (HEIs), government budget and scholarships. Through analysis of both demand side and supply side initiatives, we show that Nepal has made impressive achievements in increasing higher education enrolment; however, this level of gross enrolment rate (GER) is not enough to graduate to middle income status by 2030. The quality of higher education is poor in terms of providing input as well as teaching/learning processes. Teachers, students, university management and politicians should take responsibility for the failing state of higher education and take necessary actions to improve the quality of higher education.

Abstract

In a global world, the internationalization of higher education institutions (HEIs) emerges related with the continuous growing of knowledge and sharing of experiences. The main purpose of this research is to identify reasons, strategies and challenges inherent to the process of internationalization of HEIs in a very distinct context – Portugal. Therefore, literature is reviewed and a group of 10 deans/presidents/directors of Portuguese higher education institutions (HEIDs) are interviewed following a pre-designed protocol. The conclusions of this research are related to economic, academic and cultural aspects. The economic reasons are considered very important since they are related to funding issues. Yet, it was found that there are also cultural and academic issues influencing the internationalization of HEI´s in Portugal, such as the existence of a binary system. The challenges are closely associated with economic and cultural aspects. On the one hand, they are strictly connected to budgetary constraints; on the other hand, they encourage a new shift towards a different paradigm.

Abstract

This chapter highlights the social and cultural gaps evidenced when students from a foreign country receive education in a Puerto Rican university. It explores the influence and the implications of the Spanish vernacular being used as a language of instruction. The chapter starts with a historical background on English language instruction for Puerto Ricans throughout the last century. This topic is discussed in order to shed light on the consequences of such a polemic subject and to evaluate the implications and the influence it has had in the way Puerto Ricans communicate. The Puerto Rican Spanish vernacular is inherent in the language of instruction used throughout grade school and in Higher Education. As part of the investigation of the effects of the language of instruction, three students were interviewed to form part of this discourse. The motivations they had to study on the island were explored, as well as experiences that highlighted the language and cultural barriers that may or may not have been present in while studying in a Puerto Rican university. Their feelings toward their general experiences with their peers and professors were also explored.

Abstract

Notwithstanding the social gains of the post-apartheid dispensation in South Africa, the country remains an unequal society in terms of race, class, gender and socioeconomic status. In this chapter, we provide an overview of access to success and widening participation in higher education (HE) in South Africa. Our thesis is that open distance learning (ODL) has the potential to empower the previously marginalized majority African populations by equipping them with requisite HE qualifications, and thereby moving them up the value chain. The authors explore the challenges of access and widening participation in HE by unpacking the historical nuances of access to it in South Africa. The authors explore the ideological foundations of conceptions of access, participation, and success by teasing out the notion of ‘epistemological access’. According to the South African philosopher of education, Wally Morrow, merely providing access to HE does not assure ‘epistemological access’. The authors argue that ODL can potentially create an enabling environment for the previously marginalized majority of Africans, not only to access HE in big numbers but also to have ‘epistemological access’.

Abstract

In recent years, tertiary education has been cited as a key factor in development and personal prosperity for many nations and has widely been associated with various social and private benefits in many countries. It has widely been considered to be a vehicle for individuals’ social mobility and economic prosperity, especially for students coming from poor and disadvantaged families. Despite its potential, most higher education systems have recently faced a number of challenges that have compelled them to amend their general style of functioning and ways of doing things. One of the areas affected has been the ability for educational systems to guarantee the inclusion and accessibility of the marginalized to higher education. Whereas in recent years higher education institutions have witnessed increased demands and a surge of applicants for entrance in universities; changes in the higher education systems and the emergence of trends such as privatization, cost-sharing and education budgets cuts have emerged as blockages to access for some of the students. This chapter examines trends in Tanzanian higher education and assesses the barriers to accessibility of loans and grants to students from poor families and its implications to participation and inclusion.

Abstract

This chapter discusses the institutional contextual narratives provided as part of the evaluation of universities in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in England. The purpose of the TEF is to allow differentiation between higher education institutions on the basis of teaching quality, but the equality challenge unit has expressed reservations about the TEF’s ability to make sense of, or reflect, diverse student experiences of being taught. The authors follow the methodology of critical policy ethnography using higher education and government policy documents as a field of anthropological data and contend that, in order to understand large-scale transformations, such as the educational experience of students, the authors have to examine the ‘policy field’ and then locate more precise sites, in this case the TEF, for understanding the larger environment. The authors have systematically determined our search terms and used text-mining tools to search all the institutional narratives and obtain a broad ‘policy field’; we then select some key examples to analyse particular cases in more detail. This provides us with evidence from the statements to determine both how the perspective of students has been included in preparing the TEF contextual narratives and how diversity is being addressed.

Abstract

The United States is becoming more diverse, a trend that is reflected in institutions of higher education; college campuses are filled with various subgroups of “non-traditional students,” many of whom are students from marginalized populations. Throughout history, the United States denied access to education to students from historically marginalized backgrounds and while society promises access to students today, it is not provided equally; gaps in educational access and achievement among marginalized groups persist. Some of the fastest growing subgroups of our population are least likely to succeed in higher education, because they face barriers as they navigate the university experience. This chapter spotlights the key access and persistence-related challenges faced by students from six marginalized populations: African American/Black students, students with disabilities, Hispanic/Latinx students, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, undocumented students, and student veterans.

Abstract

Most institutions around the world provide opportunities for students to study outside of their own country for short- or long-term educational experiences. There is a gender imbalance for those seeking these experiences, with more women than men applying to study outside of the United States and only slightly more men than women are looking to study abroad in the United States. A qualitative study was conducted in the United States with American men who had studied abroad and male international students studying in the United States. Understanding what motivates men to take advantage of these learning opportunities will lead to greater promotional efforts to attract more men to these experiences.

Abstract

Despite significant investments in efforts to broaden participation, the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields who leave the academy is disheartening. Some reports suggest half of women STEM faculty will leave tenure track positions within 10 years after hire (Kaminski & Geisler, 2012). For women of color, the data are equally bleak (Ginther & Kahn, 2012) and affirm the need for continuously evolving practices and policies to retain underrepresented faculty in STEM and ensure career satisfaction and success. Unfortunately, current programs for career development and mentoring largely promote rigid conformity to traditional performance expectations, which enable the persistence of narrow departmental norms regarding markers of success. By drawing on person–environment (PE) fit theory, and combining data from our own institution with evidence-based practices from others, the authors have created a faculty development program designed to upend this practice. The objective of this program is to help faculty advance their careers in the academy while staying true to what they value, while simultaneously helping departments reflect on how they can create more inclusive and supportive environments for all faculty. The authors describe the program in detail and provide initial assessments of impact on faculty participants as well as departmental and institutional practice.

Abstract

The underrepresentation of men of color (MOC) in US higher education and the growing disparities in their educational attainment has prompted much concern among policy makers and educators. The objective of this chapter is to address the comparative perspectives on equity and inclusion aim of the book by exploring why MOC are less like to earn a degree. We begin with a review of the contemporary literature on MOC and their academic transition to college in the United States. Next, findings from a longitudinal study that explored the early transitional challenges experienced by this population are presented. Results show the stark differences between high school and college in terms of faculty expectations, autonomous responsibility for academic coursework, and academic demands permeated early academic experiences of a group of MOC. Implications for practitioners are discussed.

Name Index

Pages 225-229
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Subject Index

Pages 231-234
Content available
Cover of Contexts for Diversity and Gender Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641201812
Publication date
2018-09-17
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78756-057-4
eISBN
978-1-78756-056-7
Book series ISSN
2055-3641