Online Index Helps Students Find Most Culturally Diverse Global Campuses

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A new online tool helps international students and those seeking to study abroad choose the best campus based on their preferences. With the new Hotcourses Diversity Index, they can select an institution based on the multicultural makeup of its student body.

Many students believe access to a diverse community is a crucial component of studying abroad, and the Diversity Index allows students to compare levels of relative diversity at universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Using the most recent official government data, it shows the number of students of all nationalities on each campus. Additionally, the Feel at Home Index enables students to easily find a campus with a larger population of students of their same nationality.

“We have a simple mission — to simplify and personalize global student choice,” Managing Director of Hotcourses International Andrew Wharton said in a statement. “Whether a student seeks a culturally diverse campus experience or prefers the ‘safety in numbers’ of studying amongst fellow countrymen, our Diversity Index is unique in its ability to provide an immediate and comparable [view] of the nationality mix of universities’ student bodies.”

The percentages shown in the index demonstrate the number of students from a specific country as a proportion of the total number of international students. However, it excludes domestic students — for example, U.S. students studying at U.S. universities.

Results may be refined by destination country, study level, subject area, or university name, and the index includes institutions that have both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

The most culturally diverse campus on the Diversity Index is the University of Westminster in the U.K., with 169 nationalities represented. Of the top 20 most diverse institutions, the U.K. holds all but three positions, which are held by U.S. universities.

According to the list, the most diverse U.S. campus is Houston Community College (HCC) in Texas, which comes in at No. 10, with 151 nationalities represented.

Cephas Archie, PhD, program coordinator for diversity and inclusion at HCC, attributes the school’s placement on the index to its focus on embracing individuals of all backgrounds and experiences at all levels of the campus.

“We value the wide range of life experiences, religious beliefs, cultures, and abilities our diverse students, faculty, and staff contribute to our institutional community,” Archie says. “Attributing much of our institutional success to our collaborative cultural emphasis, [the college] celebrates the unique and distinct nature of our diversity, capitalizing on the strength of our differences and the depth of our experiences.”

By providing diverse academic programs that satisfy industry demands, Archie says the school attracts students locally, nationally, and internationally; HCC is home to the country’s top International Students Program.

“With a commitment to supporting a diverse, skilled workforce that … reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, [the college] collaboratively strives to remain relevant and essential within the Houston area and beyond,” Archie says.

The two other U.S. colleges ranking in the top 20 on the Diversity Index are New York University and Columbia University, listed at No. 16 and No. 20, with 147 and 146 nationalities represented, respectively.

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