- A global academic course search engine, Hotcourses, has released its latest diversity index to rank the world’s most ethnically-mixed institutions.
- Houston Community College tops the list of the most diverse U.S. campuses, which includes institutions like NYU, Harvard, the University of Florida and several other flagship satellite campuses.
- The index ranks schools by the number of reported nationalities on campus, as listed by governmental higher education data.
Lists like these capture a lot of attention, and provide great talking points for institutions that value diversity as part of their recruiting and development strategy, but they rarely offer a true picture of what diversity means for a specific campus or region.
For example, information provided by the U.S. Department of Education can often reflect different statistics for similar categories, based upon information submitted by schools, or captured off of federal student aid data, or provided by the National Student Clearinghouse. Additionally, ethnic diversity among students doesn’t account for racial or geographic diversity among the same body, and doesn’t account for diversity among faculty, an equally-important number which influences the tolerance of a campus.
Campus leaders should take the rankings as a nice recognition when they can get it, but with a grain of salt if they are not listed.