The global world we live in today demands a great emphasis on diversity. Most universities recognize the importance of diversity of being beneficial for the learning environment. It also enriches the culture within the university campus and extends cross-cultural relations between students. Academic diversity is essential in helping students develop an understanding and appreciation for other cultures. Inclusive pedagogy advocates for incorporating varying ethnic, social, and intellectual elements to the academic environment. In order to create an inclusive learning environment, universities should pave the way to giving a voice for different ideas, thoughts, and opinion. So, in order to be more inclusive, should universities use race as an admission criteria?
A recent poll by WBGH concluded that 3 in every 4 Americans do not want race to be used as a factor in deciding who gets admitted into universities. It is important to note that by the current laws by the Supreme Court, universities are allowed to use race as an admission criteria. The Supreme Court affirmative action policy was implemented to ensure diverse student body. However, many of the people participated in the poll indicated that students should be judged by their merits. Although a lot of support exists on diversity on college campuses, there seems to be a disconnect between diversity and meritocracy. Students grades and achievements are typically influenced by their access to information and how it is presented to them. So, what can universities do to ensure an inclusive and diverse learning environment?
Universities need to go beyond just providing information about diversity. Universities should develop an engaging learning environment that cultivates awareness about bias and inclusivity at their academic resources and the community at large. This should be a collective effort that inspires students to think critically about cultural differences. Universities are leveling fields that have immense leverage in closing the cultural awareness gap.