Affirmative action. Discrimination positive. Reservations. Quotas. Such policies aim to increase access to and equity within higher education. How do different national and social contexts affect how affirmative action policy is conceptualized, discussed, justified, and designed? Scholars from Brazil, Bulgaria, China, France, India, South Africa and the United States address this central question by seeking to understand how unique national contexts shape affirmative action for students in higher education around the world.
This unique volume includes both well established and emerging policies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. These policies developed under a variety of political systems and target a range of underrepresented groups, based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, social background, or region.
Accessible and thought provoking case studies of affirmative action demonstrate that such policies are expanding to different countries and target populations. While some countries, such as India, have affirmative action policies that predate those in the United States, affirmative action is a recent development in countries such as Brazil and France.
Contemporary legal or political pressures to move away from explicitly race-based policies in several countries have complicated affirmative action and make this assessment of international alternatives particularly timely. New or newly modified policies target a variety of disadvantaged groups, based on geography, class, or caste, in addition to race or sex. International scholars in seven countries spanning five continents offer insights into their own countries’ experiences to examine the implications of policy shifts from race toward other categories of disadvantage, to consider best practices in student admission policies, and to assess the future of affirmative action.
1. Diverse contexts and justifications for affirmative action Michele S. Moses, Laura Dudley Jenkins 2. Brazil: Enhancing opportunity and justice through new affirmative action policies for black and mixed-race students Sandra Sales, Michele S. 3. Bulgaria: Social engineering through admissions policies in a totalitarian society Pepka Boyadjieva 4. China: Targetting ethnic minorities to achieve access and equity in higher education Zhiyong Zhu 5. France: Applying a territorial approach to voluntary affirmative action in elite institutions Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin 6. India: Beginning a new debate on reserved admissions for castes, tribes and "Other Backward Classes" Kavita A. Sharma, Laura Dudley Jenkins 7. South Africa: Affirming affirmative action through university alternate access programs Rudi Kimmie 8. The United States: Changing the terms of access to higher education Patricia Marin 9. Advancing access and equity in higher education Laura Dudley Jenkins, Michele S. Moses