A Framework for Evaluating Equity Initiatives in Universities

Jenny Neale, Sharon Bell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Recent discussion has again raised issues around the role of external or internal evaluator and
the effect this can have on stakeholder interests, particularly when evaluating programmes and
policies with political or legislative sensitivities. In the university environment equity initiatives can be subject to these sensitivities which is a key challenge for staff involved. This chapter describes the use of an “engagement to excellence” framework as a tool to evaluate
how equality and diversity initiatives have worked drawing on research material from six Australasian Universities (four in Australia and two in New Zealand) collected as part of a larger cross-national study. Universities have adopted different approaches to meeting their equity objectives and there is no consistency across the system in terms of policy, structures or personnel. The nature of reporting requirements has lead to similarities in some areas but local imperatives have
determined the design of EEO initiatives and procedures at each University including monitoring and evaluation of them. Using a framework to look at the effectiveness of an
organisation’s equity initiatives thematically provides an innovative approach and a good basis for comparison across different institutions and different countries. The ‘engagement to excellence’ framework was originally developed as a management tool and its appropriateness for evaluating equity initiative
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Evaluation
Subtitle of host publication21st Century Issues and Challenges
EditorsMaria Oritz, Claudia Rubio
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-1-60456-577-5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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