Obama Administration takes steps on affirmative action in higher education

In an attempt to make college more accessible to students from ethnic minorities, President Barack Obama and his administration have released a series of guidelines on affirmative action for universities, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. Affirmative action involves the creation of policies to ensure that the rights and interests of ethnic minority groups are fairly represented.

The new framework, intended to provide college admissions officials with a guideline on how to incorporate student ethnicity as part of the college application process, was introduced to reverse legislation signed into law by former president George W. Bush in 2008. The new rules suggest that college admissions officials take student ethnicity into account to ensure a diverse student population and make a college education accessible to more students.

"Ensuring that our nation's students are provided with learning environments comprised of students of diverse backgrounds is not just a lofty ideal," reads the report, which was published on the Department of Education website. "Learning environments comprised of students from diverse backgrounds provide an enhanced educational experience for individual students."

Although the new guidelines have yet to be approved by federal authorities, some schools have already introduced similar measures. According to Inside Higher Ed, the University of Texas recently implemented affirmative action policies in its college admissions process, and these steps have been backed by federal courts. 

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