Students do not participate equally in higher education. Statistics show low participation and poor retention rates from the equity groups of students, e.g. indigenous students. While universities and governments support efforts to redress the problems of equity in their policies, it becomes in the end the responsibility of teachers in classrooms who teach such students, and matters largely rest on equity students’ own volition. Higher education is now global and exchange students are no longer seen as being special in classrooms. While celebrating cultural diversity on campus, as a teacher I could not help noticing students with equity, e.g. disabled, having a non-English speaking background, mentally disordered and low-income students.
Our research project ‘Inclusive Equity’ aimed at improving the learning community at the University of Sydney. We have conducted both online and face-to-face interviews in 2005-2006 to hear voices of those equity students and teachers who teach them in classrooms. And we have established a website to collect and showcase the experiences of both staff and students in dealing with and overcoming disadvantage (http://www2.arts.usyd.edu.au/ie/). My paper discusses the findings of our research and equity issues that should be dealt with inclusively to create a better learning environment at university.
|Keywords:||Inclusive Equity, Higher Education, International Students from Asia, Better Learning Environment|
Senior Lecturer, Japanese Studies, School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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