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Racial equity in higher education

By Asomi College of Sciences
The main difficulties of achieving equity in higher education are represented by the modern perception of a race-free society. The post-racial society instead considers socioeconomic status than race or ethnicity. But this is wrong in both means since the social class is related (but not interchangeable with) to race. Therefore, the underrepresented individuals often belong to the lowest social ranks, making it difficult for them to pursue the same educational goals as people of higher status.

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Even if the student body has become more racially and ethnically diverse since the nineties, the completion and graduation rates are higher among the white population. The same goes for the employment rates and salaries. Besides that, the prevalent trait for all the facts mentioned above is that under-and misrepresented groups are considered a significant whole. Anyhow, the solution is the implementation of higher education institutions promoting inclusivity and internationality.

Equity in higher education is not easily solvable
As the world is approaching globalization, equity in higher education – especially considering ethnic diversity – is crucial. Therefore, while equity is in the spotlight of every respectable higher education institution, it remains a seemingly accessible and reachable goal.

But, honestly speaking, as it is a delicate issue that requires a lot of dedication and resources (both mental and economical), it results as an unapproachable target for most higher education institutions.

The post-racial society
Firstly, there is one issue to underline: modern society is based on the denial of racism. It seems that there is nothing wrong with it, as we often like to perceive and show ourselves as a post-racial society. Nevertheless, the negative side of it all is that, unfortunately, it is a myth. Moreover, it is currently believed that socioeconomic status is the only thing to consider, as people do not look at ethnicity anymore.

Nevertheless, socioeconomic status leads to social class. And, unfortunately, in the current twenty-first century, class and race are still profoundly related. Even if these two concepts are notinterchangeable, they are still deeply connected. We can relate to one by observing another and vice-versa.

Advancements since the nineties
Anyhow, since the nineties, the student body has become ethnically and racially diverse. In the nineties, most students were white or “Caucasian”. But, as globalization and other similar movements and the amelioration of the socioeconomic status of non-whites have changed the international panorama, the number of ethnically and racially different students has increased. The latter is by no doubt a positive factor since it shows the improvement of overall socioeconomic status. Even if the student body is now more diverse, the completion and employment rates and the salary remain higher among the white population.

Statistics worldwide, mostly in permanently white countries, prove that whites earn more and take fewer student loans. As they pay fewer debts, their graduation rates are higher. The completion and graduation statistics are higher for undergraduate, master’s as well as PhD students. The same goes for undergraduate enrolment rates. Additionally, associate degrees or higher are more popular among the white population.

Small- or large-scale attention
Of course, society and racial inequality are the leading causes of the abovementioned situations. Nevertheless, there are some other crucial factors that most higher education institutions are mistaking. That is, the consideration of minoritarian students as big groups—for instance, Asian, African American or black students, Latinx or Hispanic students, etc.

The critical factor is that, for example, Asian students cannot all be considered altogether as the “model-students” since there are significant divisions in this category (Japanese, Korean, Laotian etc.). Moreover, there could be white students with economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and they are also not offered any help by their universities or colleges. In other words, more attention should be put on the under-groups, to help each and every one of these categories.

Therefore, these students should be considered by the universities as micro-groups that have to be dealt with. Or otherwise, the racial and ethnic and economic diversities are and remain misunderstood, and the situation will not improve.

Promotion of international higher education institutions
Another solution, of course, would be the promotion of high education institutions that are already inclusive. Moreover, inclusivity means internationality and globalityin education. Universities and colleges such as ACS – ASOMI College of Sciences should be promoted to fight the racial and ethnic inequalitiesin higher education.

In the current times, higher education should be easily accessible to everybody. And in fact, higher education institutions have become moreinclusive compared to the nineties. Nevertheless, even if more and more groups that used to be considered “minorities” attend universities and colleges, whites still have higher graduation rates and, consequently, salaries.

One of the ways to fight it is to concentrate on helping small under-groups of misrepresented students. Moreover, international universities and colleges, such as ASOMI College of Sciences, should be used and promoted in solving this issue.

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