This year, the admissions office added an application requirement for international students from China: They must complete an interview to assess their proficiency in English. This new mandatory interview is only administered to prospective students from China; all other international students are not required to take part.
If this is not a case of discrimination against an ethnic group, I don’t know what is.
With all due respect, I know that accents and a lack of proficiency in English are an issue among some international students at DU. But singling out one country to require English proficiency interviews for its applicants is not fair and is certainly not inclusive.
This is very surprising news, as DU is generally on the forefront of working to increase diversity on campus. Living by the slogan “Inclusive Excellence,” it is hard to think that the admissions office would ever do something so blatantly discriminatory against applicants from a specific country.
The effect of this change has been seen in the admissions office. The number of international student applications dropped from 1,900 last year to 1,500 this year according to a Clarion story from April 2 of this year.
I was initially very impressed with the diversity effort DU was making. After attending the Diversity and Unity retreat in September and learning about this valiant effort, I was convinced that despite its reputation for lack of diversity, real strides were being made to bring a more diverse student body to campus every year.
I am a proponent of requiring all students to have a reasonable level of understanding of the English language. Classes at DU are taught in English; it only makes sense that students understand it.
But any requirement for English proficiency needs to be applied equally to all international students, not just a pre-selected few. This is simply a basic rule: Treating all applicants the same regardless of differences between them.
Imagine the havoc that would ensue if DU made all applicants from Texas submit an extra essay for consideration that students from every other state didn’t have to submit. Although it is a different situation, the same premise applies here as the English language interview for Chinese applicants.
If DU wants to live up to the philosophy of Inclusive Excellence that it so actively promotes, it either needs to eliminate this new discriminatory requirement or require it for all international applicants to ensure equality.
Unless a decision is made quickly, it looks like DU will be operating on a system of External Inequality instead of Inclusive Excellence.