Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

pp 1-7

Date: Latest Version

Equity in Higher Education

  • Lindsey Malcom-PiqueuxAffiliated withCenter for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California Email author 
  • , Jason RobinsonAffiliated withCenter for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
  • , Estela Mara BensimonAffiliated withCenter for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Synonyms

Fairness; Justice; Parity

Definition

The term equity in higher education has a critical dimension and an accountability dimension.

From a critical perspective, equity in higher education is the recognition that institutional racism (and sexism) is an entrenched characteristic of colleges and universities that has to be dismantled with strategies that are color conscious (Appiah and Gutmann 1998), informed by critical race theory (Bonilla-Silva 2014; Crenshaw 1995; Delgado and Stefanic 2001), and systemic.

From an accountability perspective, equity in higher education is the attainment of proportional representation of historically marginalized groups in terms of access, retention, degree completion, and participation in enriching programs, experiences, and activities that build students’ academic and cultural capital.

Defining Equity

Equity refers to the concept of moral fairness. A common objective of social and economic policy, the term “equity” is often used to describe the fair d ...

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