Diversity in the Universities
Diversity has been viewed as a fundamental factor in most of the American universities. Moreover, this has been a case of concern, drawing most articles to right different views about it. Some of the articles that have outlined certain facts about this issue will be evaluated in this essay. First article that will be analyzed is ‘Foreign Students are Actually Making US Universities less Diverse.’ Another vital article is ‘Does Enrolment Diversity Improve University Education?’ in addition, another article is ‘University Diversity and a Preparation for a Global Society: the role of diversity in shaping intergroup attitudes and civic outcomes.’ Finally, the last article that will be highlighted in this essay is ‘Benefits and Challenges of Diversity in Academic Settings.’
All the above- mentioned articles have detailed information concerning diversity in the university and its impacts on academic life. The interview that will be done involves a tutor at one of the universities in the US. The tutor would have the role of giving certain instrumental points about diversity and his general view about it in the university. Before the details on the interview begin, it is vital to begin with a brief summary about each of the articles that have been enlisted in the first part of this essay.
‘Foreign Students are actually making US universities less diverse’ is the first article of concern. This article tries to check on the importance of diversity in most of the colleges and universities in the US. In particular, one of the universities checked is the Brow University. This university has encountered an increase in applications and admissions from an international point of view. This article also shows how much the US has recently increased the rate of international admissions. It has been done with the aim of enhancing globalization within the state. The article also checks into the financial benefits of international admissions into most of the universities. Particularly, most of the foreign students who are admitted into these universities tend to rise from rich families. Thus, they pay their fees in full, hence, improving the economic state of these universities.
The next article that will be evaluated is ‘Does Enrolment Diversity Improve University Education?’ Polices on enrollment of different races into the US universities are currently been supported. This article looks into the benefits and purposes of survey research. The research attempts to find out the relevance behind diversity in the university.
Next, ‘University Diversity and a Preparation for a Global Society: the role of diversity in shaping intergroup attitudes and civic outcomes’ includes another article that discusses the same topic. This article, similarly, tries to view the benefits of diversity in the universities. In particular, it checks whether diversity helps to mound the student to adapt to diversity in the global society. The article mainly analyzes Australia as the country of focus. It emphasizes that at least 30% of the country is composed of other races aside from the Australians. However, most of the diverse members are English speakers.
Finally, the last article is ‘Benefits and Challenges of Diversity in Academic Settings.’ This article does not centralize its focus on students. It looks into staff as well as the faculty of the university. More forms of diversity that appear that are outlined in this article are in experience, gender and so on. There is a need to improve the quality of teaching. Another factor that requires immense improvement is the quality of research. It would be possible to enhance the quality of these two things if diversity is emphasized in these universities. Diversity in the staff and student paternity also helps to improve basic educational strategies like innovation as well as a problem- solving. This article views diversity in a positive way, emphasizing on the benefits of this trend in the universities.
Earlier in this essay, it was stated that an interview would be carried out on a teacher from another culture in a university in the US. I am from Saudi Arabia and will be carrying out this interview to research on the benefits of diversity in the US universities.
My interviewee is a teacher from India. Her name is Zahra (not real name). She gave an overview of her background. First, she explained that she was from a tribe that had numerous cultural events. They included Diwali among others. The first part of the interview was immensely interesting and fun since she was fond of her culture and would not trade anything for it. As such, she gave me the full details concerning her cultural background. She explained that Diwali is an event that takes place at the end of each year; it is a time when Indians celebrate the end of the year. She also explained that most of the time schooling involves basic education and has few events.
At the time of the interview, Zahra had already worked in the US for at least seven years. She migrated into America for purposes of getting a degree in her profession. Once she was through with her three-year course, she decided to seek employment within the state. She claimed to have encountered numerous challenges based on her cultural background since her arrival in the US. The challenges resulted from the differences that appeared in cultural matters. Her culture includes things that not acceptable by other cultures in the US. For instance, Indians believe in the cow as their god. Who would worship a cow just from nowhere? It is rather difficult thing to believe in. As such, this among other factors affected how she related to others. Since Americans and other minority tribes rely on beef as one of their main delicacies, it was largely difficult for her to accept such acts.
However, despite such setbacks, she managed to mingle to with the other cultural groups. To prove this, she got married to one Caucasian man and had three children with him. Moreover, her mother-in-law was from Latin America. This diversity in her marriage and in-laws gave her an avenue to relate with other races at a closer range. Hence, her experience with other members from other cultures was not as difficult.
When I asked her what her personal view about diversity as a leader was, she responded as below; that she thinks diversity is fundamental for the growth of the education sector. She also added that diversity helps in nurturing a student into a socially responsible person since he or she is in a better position to mingle with other people for different societies and cultures. It serves as a road to globalization in the current world. It showed that despite the challenges she had gone through, she still supports the diversity depicted in the United States of America. This fact appears in one of the articles in this essay, specifically, ‘Foreign Students are actually making US universities less diverse.’
Diversity issues tended to change her opinion since she saw the benefits that are associated with this issue. She stated that the university in which she is a teacher has many people from varied cultures and tribes. This particular case allowed the university to record immense improvements with each enrollment of new staff from a different culture. It gave her the idea that diversity is more beneficial towards improving the vital aspects of education. In addition, she explained that diversity has provided grounds for improved problem- solving as well as research strategies (Knotter, Serving Culturally Diverse Visitors to Forests in California: A Resource Guide, 2009).
The various differences in culture have also managed to alter her cultural point of view immensely. Over the years, she had to adapt to some of the cultures in America. Since there are so many minority races within the state, it was quite difficult for her to stick to the cultures of her motherland. It is the reason why she even ended up getting married to someone from a different cultural background to her own.
In her efforts to adapt to the diversity in this university, she also faced several challenges. For instance, the dressing styles differed immensely, and this caused the Americans to view her distinctively as a minority. Sometimes, she had to deal with cases of segregation from some of the students and even his work mates. As such, she had to change her attire to the westernized dressing styles. Although it was quite difficult to face this change, she managed to adapt to the change. Then, most of the people gradually accepted her.
As earlier stated, diversity has its own positive side. Particularly, it has helped in major improvements in the academic sector. Moreover, she managed to form better relations with other people from different cultural backgrounds.
One of the main barriers that Zahra encountered included language barriers. She had a difficult time adapting to the new environment and the language too. Her Indian accent was also quite difficult to change (Knotter, 2011).
She also said that she had many different encounters while working with people from other cultures. For instance, she learned some of their cultures and languages as she mingled and socialized with them. However, there were certain times when those who thought her culture was rather unbearable neglected her. Since she was immensely social, she managed to secure the trust and friendship of other people from different cultures.
Zahra express her strictness toward some of the cultures that she highly values. One of them is the dressing code. Although she had to change it for social purposes, she always dressed with respect to her culture whenever she went back to India. She also never turned her back on the religious cultures such as the worship of the cow. Hence, she always refused to consume anything made from beef.
There had been a series of experiences that enabled her learn more about other people’s cultures. Her relations with different people helped her learn more about them including their cultures (Tamiru, 2005).
At certain points of my stay at the workplace, I had to deal with culture shock to some extent. It was because new cultures completely differed from my own. In addition, most people from the other cultures did not approve of my own cultural background. It made the culture shock more severe. However, this came to a standstill when I took the initiative to alter some of the cultural practices I used to do.
At times, it appears fundamental to discuss cultural issues at work. It is crucial since it enables people from different cultures to understand each other. It also leads to acceptance of each other’s cultural backgrounds. Eventually, people become more peaceful while working together. Working with new members from other cultural backgrounds generally improved her view of diversity. Despite all the challenges she faced, she still managed to conclude that diversity is fundamental for globalization in the universities in America among other institutions (Roces, 1992).
Knotter, S. (2011). Diversity research and policy: A multidisciplinary exploration. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University.
Knotter, S. (2009). Serving culturally diverse visitors to forests in California: A resource
guide. Diane Publications.
Roces, A. (1992). Culture shock! Philippines: Graphic Arts Center Pub.
Satyanarayana, T., Johr, B. N. (2005). Microbial diversity: Current perspectives and potential applications. New Dehli: I. K. International Pvt.