Conceptualization and interventions of social inclusion in higher education institutions
Becerra Zamora, Yuritzi G. (2017)
Becerra Zamora, Yuritzi G.
MDP in Research and Innovation in Higher Education
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The contrast of the recently assumed values of efficiency and productivity, with equity and social inclusion, creates an interesting context to study social inclusion policies in higher education institutions (HEIs). Higher education (HE) practices towards social inclusion are known to vary enormously, and the experiences of HEIs in Western developed nations are well documented. However, the phenomenon has gone surprisingly unexplored in other contexts. This study aims at exploring the experiences with social inclusion of a single HEI, the Autonomous University of Queretaro (Mexico), and to develop a context-sensitive model for analyzing the conceptualization and the institutional policies for social inclusion in HEIs. The study engages with the context of the university, by looking at hierarchical structures unveiled by postcolonial theorists. Postcolonialism is a contemporary global condition in which ethnic, sexual, epistemological, economic, and gender hierarchical relations are observable in modern day societies. The impact of postcolonialism in HE is rarely explored, yet highly relevant, especially in the discussions around social inclusion. Through interviews with students, faculty members and administrators, the qualitative case study explores the conceptualization of social inclusion in the university and the forms in which it compares to the policies for social inclusion at place. A context-sensitive model is designed and presented in the study. The model enables the exploration of both the conceptualization and the policies or interventions of social inclusion in the case study university, and can eventually be utilized to analyze the experiences of other HEIs. The result findings include the model itself, feedback on the utility of the model for the case university and other HEIs in other contexts, and practical recommendations for the case university.