Vol. 49 No. 3 (2019): 49(3)
Articles

Policy Analysis of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategies in Canadian Universities – How Far Have We Come?

Merli Tamtik
University of Manitoba

Published 2019-12-10

How to Cite

Tamtik, M., & Guenter, M. (2019). Policy Analysis of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategies in Canadian Universities – How Far Have We Come?. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 49(3), 41–56. https://doi.org/10.47678/cjhe.v49i3.188529

Abstract

Institutional efforts to address equity, diversity and inclusion in educational settings have been often met with overwhelmingly critical accounts pointing towards well-intentioned attempts that have reinforced exclusion and inequity. A new wave of recent developments among Canadian research-intensive universities (U15) is providing a slightly different account of universities’ involvement in addressing the needs of equity-seeking students. This paper presents data collected through policy analysis of 50 strategic documents from 15 Canadian universities from 2011-2018. The findings suggest that equity, diversity and inclusion activities have become a policy priority attached to a variety of institutional action plans and performance reports. As a result, there has been an increase in institutional strategic activities including institutional political commitment (e.g. new equity offices, new senior administration positions, mandatory training), student and faculty recruitment with programmatic and research supports (e.g. diversity admission policies, scholarships, access programs, curriculum changes), accompanied by broader efforts to create supportive institutional climates (e.g. student advisors, awards, celebrations). Inconsistencies emerged amongst how equity is defined in policy documents, resulting in either redistributive or inclusive practices in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

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