UCEAP Systemwide Membership with Diversity Abroad NetworkDATE: 8/24/2016
Goleta, CA (August 24, 2016) - In an effort to strengthen and foreground the University of California’s commitment to diversity and access in international education, the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) secured a systemwide membership with the Diversity Abroad Network, one of the leading professional consortiums of educational institutions, government agencies and organizations dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusive good practices that increase access, achieve greater diversity and foster inclusive excellence in international education.
For several years, the Diversity Abroad Network partnered with individual UC campuses, but this systemwide membership will now provide all undergraduate UC campuses with the same access to Diversity Abroad Network member resources and professional development grant opportunities.
UCEAP associate vice provost and executive director, Dr. Vivian-Lee Nyitray noted, “As the UC student population has grown more diverse, we have sought to increase outreach to traditionally underrepresented groups, hoping thereby to identify and remove barriers to their participation. [T]his new partnership will assist each campus in reaching its own goals for increasing diverse participation and ensuring inclusive support in education abroad, whether through UCEAP or its own initiatives.”
According to the Diversity Abroad Network, this membership represents the most comprehensive agreement of its kind and “demonstrates the University of California's systemwide commitment to providing equitable access to and inclusive support for all UC students to pursue education abroad,” potentially impacting 220,000 students.
The study abroad offices from UC campuses and the UCEAP systemwide office can now access member resources like Diversity Abroad Network’s:
- country diversity climate notes which provide an overview of issues of discrimination, equality and racism in countries where students study abroad;
- Access, Inclusion, Diversity (AID) Roadmap, a set of diversity and inclusive good practice guidelines and an intensive self-assessment tool to help study abroad offices assess their diversity and inclusion practices;
- diversity and inclusion advising manuals; and
- online pre-departure identity module.
Andrew Gordon, president and founder of Diversity Abroad, noted that the “University of California’s system-wide membership with the Diversity Abroad Network signals to students and colleagues alike that at the system and campus level, the University of California institutions are committed and prepared to equip the next generation of young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds with the skills and experience needed to compete in the 21st century global marketplace through equitable access to meaningful global education opportunities.”
The importance of this partnership was further demonstrated by Nyitray’s decision to sponsor membership for the nine undergraduate campuses between 2016-18. Given the variations in geographic location and student demographics between UC, securing membership for campuses is a proactive approach to addressing inequities in international education.
This new partnership has also extended to include UCEAP staff participating in volunteer positions for Diversity Abroad. Nyitray has been named co-chair of the 2016-17 Diversity Abroad Task Force on Religious Identity and study abroad adviser, Chris Hanson (UC Santa Cruz) is a member of the Diversity Abroad LGBTQ Task Force.