Title

Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Safeguarding Healthy Great Lakes

Your Location

Windsor

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

Abstract/Description of Original Work

“Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences”

-Gagneet Kaur (104873407), B.A (Honours) Criminology & Sociology & Dr Clayton Smith; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor

In the recent times, Canada has seen an exponential rise in the number of international students enrolling in post-secondary institutions. As of 2018, over 300,000 foreign students were issued Canadian study permits, and more than half of them belonged to the Indian Subcontinent (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2018). While this number continues to rise, concerns over racial insensitivity against foreign students continues to be a cause of concern. A majority of Canadian universities are not representative of Canada’s growing multicultural population and adhere to a set of Eurocentric policies (Samuel & Burney, 2003). Despite a policy based adherence to equity, universities are not equipped to manage the needs of culturally diverse students, simply because they lack ‘cultural toolkit’ to deal with diversity issues (Henry & Tator, 2009).

A majority of Indians in Canada, belong to the North Indian state of Punjab, which has become the epicenter of Canadian immigration in India. Additionally, some North Indians tend to stand out because of their choice to wear a turban, thus increasing their likelihood of being racially profiled. Since university marks a crucial developmental phase in the life of a student, experiencing incidents of racial bias can have far reaching impacts on the mental well-being of victimised students. Through the purpose of my study, I want to conduct focus group discussions and interviews to understand the nuanced experiences of racial bias faced by North Indian international students on campus, and consequently highlight the need for cultural awareness initiatives for university personnel, that will help in making Canadian universities collaborative and inclusive spaces.

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Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences

“Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences”

-Gagneet Kaur (104873407), B.A (Honours) Criminology & Sociology & Dr Clayton Smith; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor

In the recent times, Canada has seen an exponential rise in the number of international students enrolling in post-secondary institutions. As of 2018, over 300,000 foreign students were issued Canadian study permits, and more than half of them belonged to the Indian Subcontinent (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2018). While this number continues to rise, concerns over racial insensitivity against foreign students continues to be a cause of concern. A majority of Canadian universities are not representative of Canada’s growing multicultural population and adhere to a set of Eurocentric policies (Samuel & Burney, 2003). Despite a policy based adherence to equity, universities are not equipped to manage the needs of culturally diverse students, simply because they lack ‘cultural toolkit’ to deal with diversity issues (Henry & Tator, 2009).

A majority of Indians in Canada, belong to the North Indian state of Punjab, which has become the epicenter of Canadian immigration in India. Additionally, some North Indians tend to stand out because of their choice to wear a turban, thus increasing their likelihood of being racially profiled. Since university marks a crucial developmental phase in the life of a student, experiencing incidents of racial bias can have far reaching impacts on the mental well-being of victimised students. Through the purpose of my study, I want to conduct focus group discussions and interviews to understand the nuanced experiences of racial bias faced by North Indian international students on campus, and consequently highlight the need for cultural awareness initiatives for university personnel, that will help in making Canadian universities collaborative and inclusive spaces.