ERIC Number: EJ861656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
The Diversity Paradox: Does Student Diversity Enhance or Challenge Excellence?
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v33 n4 p321-331 Nov 2009
This paper seeks to explore an apparent paradox within higher education. The increasing pressure towards widening participation in higher education, resulting in a more diverse student body, can be seen as either an opportunity or a threat. On the one hand it provides new opportunities for students to learn from and challenge one another, and potentially enriches both the classroom experience and more widely the breadth of the knowledge base within the higher educational institution. On the other hand it requires changes in the way in which higher education is conceived of, developed and organised, and provides challenges to current practices of learning and teaching. These changes and challenges can lead to fears about lowering standards, and raises questions about whether diversifying the student body detracts from "excellence". This paradox is explored in two different ways; firstly, by considering evidence from the US and the UK, answers are sought to the question, "under what circumstances can it be demonstrated that diversity contributes to excellence in higher education"; and secondly, to consider the broader perspective on the relationship between "diversity" and "excellence" in a higher education context.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Student Diversity, Educational Change, Educational Opportunities, Colleges, Foreign Countries, Educational Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States