This data is meant to move Ryerson closer to its goal of providing a more inclusive education
Ryerson University has decided to publicize a first glimpse of the 2019 Student Diversity Self-ID Report, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.
Ryerson’s vice-president of equity and community inclusion, Denise O’Neil Green, said in the release that this information shows the diversity of Ryerson students, while identifying the gaps in representation in its programs.
“With this data, we have a snapshot and baseline from which to measure further progress toward equity, diversity and inclusion,” said O’Neil Green. “As leaders in equity, diversity and inclusion among universities, we recognize there is more work to be done in improving access to post-secondary education.”
O’Neil Green said in the release that Ryerson was able to gather this information because of students, who shared confidential information about their social locations and identities through an online questionnaire. The release went on to say that by sharing that information the students have made it possible for Ryerson to enhance their university experience and better support their success by advancing inclusion.
O’Neil Green said when comparing student equity groups with the GTA or Ontario population, some areas are reflected in a positive light and others are not.
While women make up 52 per cent of the Greater Toronto Area/Ontario population, they make up 55 per cent of Ryerson undergraduate students and 54 per cent of graduate students.
However, while racialized people make up 51 per cent of the GTA/Ontario population, they make up just 48 per cent of Ryerson undergraduate students and just 39 per cent of graduate students.
People with disabilities make up seven per cent of Ryerson undergraduate students and six per cent of graduate students. But among the broader GTA/Ontario population, there are 20 per cent who identify as people with disabilities.
The survey also found there are smaller percentages of both Indigenous peoples and LGBTQ2S+ peoples at Ryerson than in the population at large.
O’Neil Green said Ryerson has compiled this data because the community had been asking for a student version.
“Because of our shared commitment to inclusive excellence, we know that this data will inform honest conversations and important work, at all levels of the university, to address systemic inequities that persist,” she said. “Our faculties and programs will only grow stronger as we take deliberate action to increase opportunity and access for our current and future students.”
The full report is to be released by the end of the winter semester.