Researching diversity, inclusion and student success: Towards a global campus climate framework

Researching diversity, inclusion and student success: Towards a global campus climate framework

Goals: This project will: (1) establish a network of scholars to engage in comparative research on
inclusion, equity and diversity in higher education (HE) and, (2) develop relevant conceptual models and
approaches to study problems of inclusion, equity and student success in diverse country contexts. The
countries represented are the U.S., England, India, Ghana, South Africa and Ireland.
Rationale: The rapid expansion of HE globally and increased pressure on institutions to serve diverse
student populations has placed HE inclusion and equity at the forefront. Research on this issue is scattered,
uneven and in many countries at a nascent stage. The RDF will support the development of a multi-country
scholar network to advance research on student diversity and success in HE by establishing a shared set of
concepts, theories and methodologies that is informed by a comparative approach.
Approach: Collaborators will develop conceptual papers outlining key concerns for diversity, inclusion
and equity in HE in their country context. We will hold virtual meetings and a symposium during the 2019
WUN Conference to examine campus climate theory and frameworks, specifically the Multi-Contextual Model
for Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) and assess their relevance to collaborator countries. The
collaborators will adapt and refine the DLE for relevance across diverse contexts.
Outcomes: Our network will position student inclusion and success as global concerns that merit
collaborative research for effective HE policies. We will generate a shared framework to assess HE
environments in different countries, which will be disseminated through conceptual papers and in-country
colloquia events. Post-grant period, we will sustain the network by (1) disseminating our work through
conferences and publications (2) seeking funding to conduct empirical research that will apply our
framework to additional countries (3) developing an empirical comparative study to further refine the DLE,
which will continue to be tested and validated as our global network grows into the future.

  • Assistant Professor Chrystal George Mwangi, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Professor Sangeeta Kamat, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Associate Professor Anna Branch, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Assistant Professor Jonique Childs,University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Professor Navin Kikabhai, University of Bristol
  • Senior Research Fellow Nana Akua Anyidoho, University of Ghana
  • Senior Lecturer Kasturi Behari-Leak, University of Cape Town
  • Associate Profesor Marie Clarke, University College of Dublin
  • Assistant Professor Chandraiah Gopani, University of Allahabad