One of the fundamental responsibilites of higher education is to provide open and equal opportunities for students to learn, succeed, and positively contribute to their local, national, and global societies. Great strides are being made in increasing educational access, retention completion, and success, yet there is still work to be done particularly for students from disadvantaged or marginalized groups.
Unprecedented shifts in migration patterns are causing demographic changes around the world. In addition, governments, societies, and higher education institutions are increasingly recognizing the need and responsibility to create legal and institutional frameworks for providing more and better opportunities for people from historically marginalized groups to gain access and achieve success at the university level.
In the United States, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), including historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Asian American & Pacific Islander serving institutions, are a firmly established and important part of the educational landscape. But in the United States, we know little about MSIs across the globe.
South Africa’s historically disadvantaged institutions are folded into the larger higher education system but they have not received equitable funding and are considered sub-par by many in the country. Universities Australia is a consortium of universities that advocates for, among other things, addressing issues of indigenous disadvantage in Australia. As part of its effort to shift access to higher education from elitism to universalism, the Chinese government has established higher education institutions for specific ethnic minorities and introduced preferential policies giving ethnic minorities “bonus points” in the entrance exams that determine which higher education institutions students can attend. <Read more.>