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ACA Think Pieces: Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights
At the start of this year, 2021, ACA prioritised learning more about and supporting inclusion in international higher education in the context of Europe. We decided to publish our insights along the way with the help of experts in the area of inclusion through a new ACA Think Piece series, Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights.
This month Nick Gozik, Dean of global education and assistant professor with the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center at Elon University, guides us in contextualising diversity and inclusion through understanding the importance of related systems, and how diversity must also align with equitable opportunities for all. The December Think Piece, A House Where All Belong: Re-envisioning Education Abroad through a Systemic Approach, offers observations from mobility approaches in the U.S. context, and Gozik illustrates key concepts that can be applied in a host of institutional settings.
After underlining how complicated it is to define diversity across and within nations, Gozik highlights that it is essential to consider the historical context of a diversity and inclusion policy, with special attention given to the systems in place; change must come by re-evaluating existing systems. To this end he suggests imagining the design of mobility programmes from the perspective of various types of students, and constructing plans per stage of intervention. Gozik’s holistic, systems-minded approach can serve as inspiration and a starting point for nearly any institutional context. He concludes the piece by advocating administrators and educators to critically examine and contextualise existing diversity and inclusion processes, policies and structures before moving forward in related areas.