• How to promote real equality in higher education

      Mieschbuehler, Ruth; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020-10-30)
      This chapter aims to open up a debate about two meanings of ‘equality’ in higher education (HE). The first meaning of ‘equality’ is ‘the right to be the same’. The second meaning of ‘equality’ is ‘the right to be different’. Three contrasting examples from politics, compulsory education and HE are given in detail to illustrate how the meaning of the term ‘equality’ has changed. The older meaning of ‘equality’ required a universal and common education for all students. The newer meaning requires the curriculum to be refocused on the perceived group identities that necessitate a variety of curricula. The curriculum in HE has become divisive and undermines education for all students. This chapter raises issues that are rarely discussed for fear of being offensive. The future of HE depends on opening up a debate about the divisive nature of current conceptions of ‘equality’ that undermine HE – the university - as the embodiment of Enlightenment universalism.