One of the tasks that we had before the first class was to find issues in Global Higher Education (GHE) related to Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. Of course, like any typical student, the first thing that I did was to consult google about the three topics. There were a couple of things that I found interesting on how several countries see each of the three topics mentioned above, but let’s start talking about GHE first.
Did you know that there’s a Center for GHE in the University College Londo, in London? (…me neither). They are aiming all their efforts into higher education, including its social and economic impact, with the following objectives in mind:
- Conduct and publish basic and applied research in three integrated programmes,
- Build theory about higher education and new methods of inquiry and research,
- Respond to issues arising within the frame of the three programmes,
- Maximize its impacts in higher education policy in the four UK nations and worldwide.
In case you were wondering, Integrated Programmes, mentioned in the objective cited from the GHE website, refers to (1) Globalisation, UK Higher Education and the Public Contributions of HEIs, (2) Socio-economic Implications of High Participation Higher Education, and (3) Institutions, People and Learning in Local/Global Higher Education Settings. One of the things I noticed from the objective and programmes is that it seems that they will work with the UK and then the rest of the world, but maybe I’m wrong.
To continue with my google adventure, I move on to Equity. From what I read, Equity is treated differently in every country. In South Africa black population remains the focal point. In India, under their constitution, the population is divided into groups which some of them are not considered for higher education. In Rwanda, after the genocide, the government made divisionism a crime. The differences that I’m trying to point out is that the mentioned countries, when it comes to Equity, don’t take into account the skin color for the case of South Africa or socioeconomic division in Rwanda.
I also found an interesting cartoon below, which I believe is a fair example of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. Prior to explaining my thoughts about this cartoon, let’s play a game, I want you to give me yours, but make sure to study every aspect of it and avoid focusing on the obvious.
From what I see, and you may have another perspective, the “Education Experts” are accusing the teacher of doing something wrong because the students are not in class. On top of that, the teacher has to use her own supplies because they are not providing the right tools.
What I got from the cartoon:
- Equity is giving the right tools depending on each student needs. Each seat has his respective owners description. Every student in this classroom is treated the same without taking into consideration their respective needs.
- Inclusion refers to the social interaction between students with different experiences or points of view so they can learn from each other. Although the cartoon shows an inclusive classroom, the lack of interest in keeping those students in the classroom, prevents Inclusion from being a success.
- Diversity has a broader definition compared to Inclusion. Having a classroom with students from different religions, cultures, nationalities, race, etc, makes its Diversity. Even though the cartoon does not provide a clear description of the students’ backgrounds, their current status can give an idea of how diverse is the classroom.
Remember that there’s no wrong answer, just different points of view. What’s yours?