MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Dr. Wolfgang Lenhmann


Multiculturalism has been official Canadian policy since 1971. However, racial equity from this policy has not resulted as there continues to be persistent educational attainment gaps and underrepresentation among Indigenous and Black Canadians in higher education. Post-secondary credentials have become essential to success in knowledge economies. Given these attainment gaps, the purpose of this study was to explore how postsecondary institutions frame and promote diversity. I conducted a content analysis of strategic planning documents and viewbook recruitment materials from Canada’s two largest universities (University of Toronto and University of British Columbia) and sought out any available student racial composition data—a scarcity in Canada. As expected, I found both universities promoted principles of diversity and equity positively within their materials. Only the University of British Columbia produced some student racial composition data. Reliable student compositional data lends credibility to diversity claims in these documents. Without it, there are serious implications for the enrolment and success for those who have been historically excluded. Without access and success, patterns of inequity in labour market outcomes could be perpetuated.

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