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Holistic Admissions in Global Context: Access, Diversity, and Diffusion


Jul 01, 2021


Jun 30, 2023
Funding Agency
American Educational Research Association

Dr. Michael Bastedo will lead a working conference bringing together global scholars to share ongoing research on the diffusion of holistic admissions practices around the world.


While many people assume that national exams like the gaokao (China), the suneung (South Korea), and the concours (France) exclusively drive admissions decisions in countries outside the United States, many countries have adopted holistic admissions practices similar to U.S. institutions, and some have used them for a substantial proportion of incoming students for over 20 years. Many of these countries face similar challenges related to college access, admissions transparency, and the potential for corruption. Yet little research has been published on these admissions practices and their effects on access and diversity. In addition, the researchers who currently investigate these admissions practices are spread throughout the world, and have had little opportunity to share their work and develop opportunities for collaborative inquiry that would move the field forward.

Expert participants will examine the development of holistic admissions practices and their role in promoting and hindering social stratification, reproduction, and mobility. Participants will prepare working papers examining issues of access/mobility, transparency, and corruption across country contexts. Working within and across groups, participants will develop a multidisciplinary and global perspective on admissions practices. The ultimate goal is to inspire a robust, global community of admissions researchers who will inspire a research agenda for the field for many years to come. These contributions will be pulled together into an edited volume on global admissions practices to be published for an international audience.

Primary Investigator(s)

Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education

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