Enhancing Diversity at Queen’s

As an institution dedicated to shaping the leaders of tomorrow and advancing discoveries about the world’s most pressing questions, our successes are largely dependent on our ability to bring together people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. In recent years, we have worked to build a campus that embraces diversity and empowers individuals from culturally, racially, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds to thrive at Queen’s. But to make real progress, we will have to make some real changes.

Examples of recent steps taken to improve access to Queen’s and enhance diversity include:

Increased Oversight

  • Improved data collection to measure and communicate progress.
  • Queen’s senior leadership team has incorporated goals related to enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in their annual performance plans. This ensures all units within the university are working together towards the common goal of enhancing diversity at Queen’s.
  • Faculty and school deans and the deputy provost (academic operations and inclusion) review all academic appointment files to ensure the applicant pool is sufficiently diverse and that employment equity practices are followed throughout the recruitment process.

Expanded Recruitment Strategies


  • Recruitment strategies have been expanded to attract students with diverse backgrounds and encourage all academically eligible students to see Queens’s as a viable option for post-secondary education.
  • An admissions officer was recently hired to work with the national Pathways to Education organization in low-income neighbourhoods across Ontario. The admissions officer answers students’ questions about university life and the admission process, and provides support throughout the application process.
  • Queen’s Aboriginal Community Liaison and Outreach Coordinator facilitates targeted outreach, recruitment, and admissions support for prospective undergraduate Indigenous students. The Indigenous Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator does the same for Queen’s professional programs.
  • Alternative admission pathways are available for underrepresented students, including the First Generation Admission Pathway and the Aboriginal Admission Pathway.

Faculty and Staff:

  • Formal equity processes are now in place for staff recruitment, which will help to ensure that members of equity-seeking groups are not denied staff positions due to systemic barriers.
  • To ensure all members of academic and non-academic hiring committees and promotion processes can fully engage in employment equity practices, tailored training courses are offered on a monthly basis through the Equity Office for individuals involved in the faculty appointments, Renewal Tenure and Promotion Processes (RTP), and staff hiring.

Enhanced Financial Assistance for Underrepresented Students

  • Needs-based and merit based financial assistance opportunities have been enhanced for Indigenous, racialized, and first-generation students. Information on financial aid opportunities for underrepresented students can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website.
  • In the fall of 2017, new bursaries were created for first-year Black Canadian students, first-year visible minority and racialized students, and first-generation students.
  • Queen’s Chancellor Jim Leech, MBA’73, recently established a bursary for Indigenous students. The bursary will help to ensure Indigenous students can fully participate in the academic and extra-curricular life of the university, and will promote inclusion, retention, and success.
  • Alumnus David Sharpe (Law '95) recently established an Indigenous Student Scholarship in honour of Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal.

Learn more about Queen’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives:

 Equity Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report (PDF 23 MB)