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Diversity Network Member Highlight: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 6, 2017

Institution name

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Chapel Hill, NC


Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000)

Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

Aligned with UNC’s Academic Plan, which prioritizes “equity and inclusion” and “global engagement,” the Center for Global Initiatives is spearheading a major pan-university effort to significantly increase the number of traditionally underserved students who have access to global opportunities.

This effort opens access to students regardless of their academic discipline, age, disabilities, educational or family background, gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

The effort defines “global opportunities” broadly to encompass:
1) Educational opportunities abroad (including credit-bearing study abroad, experiential learning, internships, research and service-learning).
2) Global opportunities on campus (such as course work in foreign languages and globally-oriented classes in diverse disciplines such as business, education and nursing, as well as events and co-curricular student activities).
3) Globally-oriented service in the local community (for example, engagement with K-12 classrooms or immigrant communities).

Membership with the Diversity Abroad Network has given us access to important resources and people in this work.


How long has your organization/institution been a member? 



What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

 The annual conferences. We look forward to coming to the one this spring.


How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds? 

The knowledge we come back with from conferences have helped shape our programming, especially thinking about early interventions. Diversity Abroad is good at stressing the need to be deliberate and invested in this effort. It can't be done well without a deep commitment. 


Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking.  

1. Global Take Off: Puerto Rico, a fully-funded, faculty-led five day experience in Puerto Rico for incoming students with financial need and limited or no travel experience. This program received over 250 applicants in its first year and funded 12 students, 8 of whom were African-American, 8 were first generation college students, and 2 were transfer students
2. Passport to GO! provides free passports for incoming students with financial need. Since 2012, 189 applicants have received a passport, of whom more than a third are African-American, one quarter are first generation, and one quarter are transfer students.
3.Embark Carolina is a website with a student-focused how-to manual on finding global educational opportunities, as well as a searchable database of funding sources to support students’ pursuit of such opportunities.

Through all these deliberate efforts, UNC appears to be heading in the right direction. Here are trends for important sub-groups of applicants and awardees to various programs of the Center for Global Initiatives between FY2013-FY16:
• The number of applicants increased by 128% from 316 to 720
• The number of African-American applicants increased by 348% from 25 to 112
• The number of non-white female applicants increased by 235% from 94 to 315
• The number of non-white male applicants increased by 170% from 30 to 81
• The number of transfer students increased by 273% from 41 to 153
• The number of first generation students increased by 444% from 52 to 283
• The number of applicants who’ve never been abroad increased by 871% from 24 to 233
• The number of awardees increased by 109% from 91 to 190
• The number of African-American awardees increased by 255% from 11 to 39
• The number of non-white female awardees increased by 259% from 17 to 61
• The number of non-white male awardees increased by 120% from 10 to 22
• The number of transfer student awardees increased by 14% from 22 to 25
• The number of first generation student awardees increased by 283% from 23 to 88
• The number of awardees who’ve never been abroad increased by 533% from 15 to 95

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