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The Importance of Diversity in the University - Research Paper Example

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Importance of Diversity in the University Name: University: Date: Background In both educational and governmental institutions, institutional diversity remains an issue of great interest. The benefits associated with diversity in the institutions of higher learning continue to receive universal acknowledgement…
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The Importance of Diversity in the University

While institutional diversity is highly regarded as a positive thing by many, others argue that it can lead to institutional drift and mission overload if parity of esteem does not prevail between institutional types. Despite the many benefits associated with institutional diversity, many institutions of learning in the current day education system are highly characterized with student bodies which are highly deficient of the desired diversity (Vught, 2009). Many factors have been put forth to explain this severe lack of diversity in the institutions of higher learning among them being lack of proper selection mechanisms into the institutions of higher learning and discrimination during the selection process (Devins, 2003). Emergence of many private institutions offering higher education is another major causative agent for higher deficiencies of diversity in higher institutions of learning. Such institutions are merely profit driven and at times tend to compromise the educational values associated with diversity. They often concentrate on the breed of students who are capable of raising the huge amounts of tuition fees they charge with less regard to diversity balance (Warner and Palfreyman 2001). In attempts to enhance diversity in institutions of higher learning, states and governments have well defined legal provisions focusing on matters related to students’ diversity (Mellor, 2008). The numerous benefits associated with a diverse student body are universally acknowledged and practices such as provision of racial bonus points are constitutional in some nations. This offers the minority foreign applicants a higher probability of securing places in institutions of higher learning outside their own countries. In other provisions, race is an important factor during admissions for undergraduate programs (Vught, 2009). This helps to achieve a balanced ethnic diversity hence attaining the so much desired diversity in the student body. Notable also is the incorporation of affirmative action policies in many public education systems, a strategic move usually geared towards elimination of discrimination and also aimed at coming up with a student body which is ethically balanced in order to a achieve a diverse student body. In most states, measures to mitigate discrimination based on gender, colour, race, religion, which are deeply embedded in their constitutions (Bankston, 2006). Everyone has equal rights to access education and this further enhances diversity since selection process is free and fair and not in favor of any particular group of people. To further uphold diversity in higher institutions of learning, special consideration is usually given to special groups of people in the society (Pollak and Louis, 2005). Women and the disabled for instance are at times given special consideration during the selection process to ensure their numbers in the institutions of higher learning match that of their male counterparts. An important legal provision also aimed at upholding diversity in the institutions of higher learning is the great emphasis given to respect of basic human rights. For purposes of peaceful co-existence of the diverse student community, basic human rights such religious and cultural rights are highly upheld. This allows easy integration of people of different cultural and religious background in a ... Read More
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