Prior to discussing why diversity is actually important to colleges and educational institutions all across the world, let us first have a quick look at what diversity is and why the need of embracing it in different colleges has been felt. To define it in the simplest terms, “diversity is the inclusion of people representing different nationalities, origins, colors, religions and socio-economic status, etc.
Diversity is expressed in all aspects of our lives including education. College is the last juncture for students to be considered grown-up adults and ready to face the challenges of the real world. Diversity in colleges means the inclusion of students from different cultures, races, and religions that have different opinions. Diversity in colleges promotes personal growth and a flourishing society. It matters to the students because it encourages critical thoughts and helps students learn to communicate effectively.
To put it in simple terms, diversity means ethnicity, race, and tribal affiliation. It extends beyond these factors also and influences sexual identity, different income levels, cultural backgrounds, first-generation status, etc. Interaction between students with different worldviews helps change their minds and enables the students to mold their ideas which in turn helps in their evolution and progression.
When learning the students is elevated to a new level with the help of diversity they become more liberal-minded and are able to understand different types of backgrounds with ease. They learn how capable they are in positioning their opinions and thoughts. There are a lot of minority students that face a tough challenge in getting into campus recruitment. So, diversity is significant to students as it helps them evolve, excel and grow.
Students need to consider all the aspects of their identity and how these fit in when they choose a college for themselves. Ethnicity and race are considered important facets of the students’ identities.
There are a lot of minority students that consider diversity as an asset offered to the institution for enriching their educational experience when they apply to a college. They should identify what values encourage them the most. Students learn from different experiences, beliefs, and perspectives. Education in diversified settings prepares students to become better citizens in a pluralistic society and encourages mutual respect as well as teamwork.
Diversity enriches educational experiences to a great extent. Students learn from the beliefs, experiences, and perspectives that they are able to grab when there is an extensively diverse, intellectual, and social environment.
Teamwork and mutual respect tend to be fostered in a diversified environment. Communities can be built and their members are judged by their contributions and also on the basis of their characters. It increases economic competitiveness to a great extent. Effective use of the skills and abilities belonging to people of different cultures can be made use of.
Personal growth and a healthy society are possible with diversity in the colleges. It has been truly said that diversity challenges the stereotyped notions that students have in their minds. When these stereotyped notions are done away with it, clear and critical thinking can be promoted. When students can communicate effectively they form strengthened communities at the workplace and effective use of talent can be made.
The importance of education stretches far and wide. So far it has enhanced the economic competitiveness of America which results in the country prospering. When students study and indulge in co-curricular activities with people of different races, cultural backgrounds, and ethnicities, they learn general awareness and better understand different cultures and societies. With the world changing faster than ever and happily embracing changes diversity in higher education is becoming increasingly important and enhancing the college experience.
Given here is a quick glance at the top 5 benefits of diversity in higher education that makes clear why it is necessary.
There can be diverse types of classrooms and social interactions can vary. When students are provided with the opportunity to learn from people of different races, backgrounds, and upbringings, they learn how to innovate and collaborate in a better way. As per the notes made by the Center for American Progress, “ There are researches to show that the social impact and the overall academic racial diversity on the campus can help students attain higher academic achievement and help them learn to co-operate, socialize and improve long-term intergroup relations. Hence diversity is an important part of college life that helps the wholesome growth of students.
If a college campus is diversified, students are presented with daily opportunities to interact with people from different backgrounds that enable them to learn better and communicate effectively. This is one of the major benefits of communication in a student's life. According to an article published in a renowned American magazine known as “The century foundation,” students who interact and communicate consistently with ethnically and racially diverse peers are able to develop better cognitive skills that lead to better problem-solving and rational thinking. Hence diversity in the colleges matters because it enhances over and all critical thinking of the students.
It is true that students are often raised around people of similar cultural, racial, and socioeconomic characteristics. For a large number of students, diversity in the college challenges pre-disposed norms or stereotypes that they may have inculcated during their adolescence. When students are presented with the opportunity to explore these experiences critically, they can become more tolerant, more thoughtful, and more accepting members of society and feel blessed. This is yet another important benefit of diversity on the college campus.
Having culturally diverse peers is not the only way students get benefited from diversity in their campus life. With the students belonging to different cultures and races and communities, they are able to learn and experience different types of leadership styles. Actually, it is an opportunity to see someone from a different background that students can learn and emulate. This is very helpful for students from historically underrepresented communities.
It is very important to make sure that the demographics of representation are compatible with the majority of students' body enrolled in the colleges.
As per a notification of the American Council of Education, Education within a diverse setting is very important as it helps students become better citizens in a very complex and pluralistic society. It has become very important because it has helped the communities and their members develop better communication skills.
There are a number of studies that show that diversity in higher education is very important. In college campuses, it improves intellectual engagement, self-motivation, citizenship, academic skills, cultural engagement, etc. As a result of this, colleges that admit students from different races and backgrounds can see their students excelling in the areas of problem-solving, critical thinking and writing, etc.
Interacting and communicating with students of diversified backgrounds, races and cultures help them become better scholars, and citizens and have better thinking abilities. In reality, diversity implies race, different types of tribal affiliation, and ethnicity. Sexual identities, orientation, first-generation status, income level, and gender can also be the factors on which diversity can be based. Colleges that want to promote personal growth and a healthy society can go in for the admission of culturally or racially different backgrounds.
It is true that sustaining the nation’s prosperity in the 21st century requires colleges to make effective use of skills and abilities. But, diversity in the college cannot be achieved with the help of quotas. Nor does diversity justify or guarantee the admission of unqualified applicants. But, since diversity in colleges is very important, Universities and colleges all across the world should make a steady effort to promote diversity in the colleges so that a better and healthy college environment can be built.
There are a large number of educational institutes that have already embraced diversity as it is one of the greatest strengths of higher education in America. Protecting that diversity in the colleges is very important for catering to the needs of a democratic society and fulfilling the global scope of Economy to a great extent. When lessons are taught in a diverse intellectual and social environment, students are able to learn better and develop intellectually.
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