A Reflection on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Ending Affirmative Action

July 5, 2023

The values of accessibility and diversity guide the ISEP team and our community. We challenge each other to ask hard questions about inclusion and opportunity, to think outside of our own experiences as individuals and as a team. We seek ways to increase student mobility, not just from the United States, but from around the world. ISEP students come from extremely varied backgrounds—we mobilize students from and to more than 350 institutions in over 50 countries. We serve first-generation college students from Ghana and indigenous Fijian students, students from economic privilege and students working to pay for their education, and students at highly ranked research institutions as well as small public universities. Through our diversity, we learn cooperation, collaboration, and respect for one another.

As we reflect on the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending affirmative action, our organization recognizes that access, inclusion, and equity are not the same as equality. Affirmative action in the United States has created opportunities for historically under-represented students to access prestigious and competitive higher education institutions. It brought diverse perspectives to those campuses, benefiting all students, and offered pathways that brought more diverse voices into our institutions, businesses, health systems, schools, and more.

At ISEP, we see the value of diverse perspectives and voices every day. We know that understanding one another is key to a peaceful and prosperous world. We remain committed to helping under-represented students access international education, and we look forward to supporting our community and institutions in this work.