The dimensions and indicators of equity

Year: 2012

Author: Bensimon, Estela, Dowd, Alicia

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Even though there has been worldwide movement to measure just about every aspect of higher education inputs and outputs, equity indicators, based on gender, race, or socio-economic status are less common. As a consequence it is not well understood whether increased access to higher education is accompanied by more or less equity for marginalized populations. In this paper, the presenter will address the various ways in which equity can be defined and will provide a description of the indicators that correspond to each definition.  Definitions of equity reflect different values and philosophical traditions and can constrain or broaden benefits. For example, definitions of equity that are based on liberal perspectives of individualism may be more focused on access to some kind of higher education whereas definitions based on critical theories may be more focused on structural inequalities that constrain opportunity based on race or wealth.