One of the key takeaways for me during this class was the knowledge gained from different perspectives in the room. For myself, I am continuously thinking about social justice and equity in the frame of higher education, non-profit, or education in general. With this class, it was interesting to learn from a variety of academic disciplines on how equity manifests within in their work. Whether it be a lack of access to transportation or lack of representation of various genders in STEM fields, it was valuable to learn from different academic backgrounds on how equity might look different. Though, as we discussed more it seemed like the majority of the issues that our fields are facing are just small subsets of larger social and power structures that impact all of our fields. My biggest insights were class discussions were we looked at the intersections of those power structures and how they impact and manifest in all of our disciplines and lives, just in different ways.
Another key takeaway that I have learned from the class would have to be the knowledge gained from the global higher education presentations. From the differences in entrance exams, to the price of higher education, to immigration processes, it was eyeopening to learn about the different processes in higher education throughout the world. As someone who wants to go into higher education as a profession, these presentations expanded my view and knowledge of the paths that my students take into higher education. This also prompts me to even reexamine that processes that are present within my current department and how they might be supportive (or not) of international students interacting with our office. I truly enjoyed learning more about how higher education looks like around the world as I know I take on a very United States centered lens of higher education and these presentations expanded that knowledge and depth of understanding of what higher education is and the pathways to it.
As a result of this class and class discussions, I have learned a great deal about higher education in a global context. Through the presentations and class discussions over a breadth of topics surrounding higher education and equity, I have learned that the power structures within our society impact each of our academic disciplines just in a slightly different way. Whether that be access or lack of diversity representation, these issues need to be addressed across the board. This knowledge will help me better understand the perspective of my future students who will be pursuing multiple career paths and disciplines different from my own. This knowledge will allow me to learn from them what equity looks like in their field and be able to have conversations around the greater societal impact of power structures in and outside of higher education institutions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this class and learning alongside many scholars in the room. I wish everyone a great winter break and spring semester if they are not graduating this winter. I hope that we can all use the conversations and skills that we learned as a result of this class to fight for a more equitable and just world. Have a great break and finals season everyone!