A Quest for Hope: Questioning Equity in Higher Education

This presentation seeks to disentangle some of the many inequality issues in the realms of gender, ‘race’ and social class in higher education. The opening discussion sets the scene by using a hopeful constructivist theory to critique education and schooling as important sites where social problems and social inequalities are regularly and historically addressed through prescribed inclusion policy. It is against this rationale and premise that the presentation will move on to untie some of the patterns of inequality that have characterized academia for years. There will be international examples to highlight how social problems are maintained in educational institutions as part of a wider patterns that penetrate societies. The presentation ends with an outlook of how universities could do better and become sites where – rather than reproducing social inequalities – they foster inclusion, diversity, and equity.