University of Manitoba creates 'diversity categories' for education students

Article and photo from CBC News

Posted: Feb 11, 2016 2:05 PM

The University of Manitoba faculty of education will select 45 per cent of its students from five "diversity categories," such as indigenous or LGBT people, under a policy announced in a news release Thursday.

"The policy attempts to address the social and historic inequities faced by marginalized groups," said Melanie Janzen, associate dean of undergratuate programs, said in a news release.

Each of the categories will be allotted a specific percentage of the space for students in the Bachelor of Education program under the policy approved by the university senate, the news release said.

All applicants must meet mandatory entrance requirements, the release said, and any of the designated spaces not used by diversity categories will be filled by general admission students.

"As the faculty of education, we need to be making a more concerted effort to ensure that our teachers reflect [Manitoba's] diversity," Janzen said.

David Mandzuk, dean of the faculty of education, said he was pleased the university senate approved the policy.

"The policy sends a very strong message that the faculty wants to take a leading role in diversifying the teaching force of Manitoba," he said.

The policy will go into effect in September 2017, the news release said.

Space allotted to 6 categories

The news release said 15 per cent of space in the faculty will be reserved for Canadian indigenous people.

Racialized persons, which the university defines as "those who have been treated differently based on their perceived racial backgrounds, colour and/or ethnicity," and includes non-Canadian indigenous people, will get 7.5 per cent of the space.

Those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit or queer will get 7.5 per cent of the space.

Those with physical, mental, psychological, sensory or diagnosed learning disabilities will get 7.5 per cent of space.

Disadvantaged persons, described by the university as those who have not had the opportunity for university study because of social, economic or cultural reasons or because they live in remote areas, and those who faced barriers to university because of their religion, creed, language or state of social disadvantage will also get 7.5 per cent of the space