Diversity Abroad is a North American based organisation that aims to inspire and support educators, policy makers, industry professionals and other stakeholders in leveraging global educational programs to support the academic success, interpersonal development and career readiness of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
Since 2013 the annual Diversity Abroad Conference has aimed to be the most comprehensive global forum on diversity, equity, and inclusion in education. The 2020 annual conference was due to take place earlier this year in New Orleans but unfortunately had to be postponed as a result of Covid-19. Maynooth University along with a number of other Irish institutions had planned on attending the conference and will now instead take part in the virtual version which takes place in early August.
Hundreds of education professionals, student leaders, employers, and leading graduate programs will meet online to learn, network and hopefully be inspired as we to support domestic and international student academic success, interpersonal growth and career readiness through innovative and sustainable approaches to advancing global equity, and inclusion in education.
Diversity Abroad’s vision is that the next generation of young people from underrepresented and traditionally marginalized backgrounds are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be academically, personally, and professionally successful in the 21st century interconnected world.
From Ireland’s point of view it is hoped to have strong representation at this virtual event and indeed at all Diversity Abroad events going forward. ‘Education in Ireland’ became a member of this organization in 2019 with a view to taking steps to increasing the number of U.S. students from a more diverse background to study abroad in Ireland. Education in Ireland along with all Irish HEI’s are keen to work together to increase the diversity of students to travel abroad to Ireland, particularly for semester or yearlong programs. This is important as a lack of diversity appeared in the report that EI commissioned in 2018, ‘The Economic Impact of Study Abroad in Ireland’ (while this report is for the Study Abroad market there were lots of the issues raised which also apply to the undergraduate and postgraduate market).
Education in Ireland are also a main sponsor for this summer’s virtual conference and Irish HEI’s plan on being very well represented at all seminars and events. Education in Ireland are also facilitating a virtual meeting between Irish HEI’s and the CEO and Founder of Diversity Abroad, Andrew Gordon, this Friday the 10th of July.
Maynooth University's International Office along with all MU colleagues and departments continues to work hard to ensure that the entire concept of diversity and inclusion are at the core of the Maynooth international student experience and the International Office will have representatives participating in the virtual Diversity Abroad Conference as well as the meeting with the organisation’s CEO.
About Maynooth University
Maynooth University is ranked in the top 50 global universities under 50 years old, achieving a ranking of #43 worldwide, and #1 in Ireland, in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings. Tracing its origins to the foundation of the Royal College of St Patrick in 1795, Maynooth University was formally established as an autonomous university in 1997. Maynooth is Ireland’s fastest growing university with more than 13,000 students, including almost 1,600 taught postgraduate and professional students and over 400 research students.