Survey results reveal cases of discrimination among fellow students
The Cross Culture International Foundation (CCIF) commissioned a survey about discrimination in the Maltese education sector. Results of the survey reveal that students attending Universities and schools have been discriminated against by fellow students.
According to the Council of Europe, Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realising other human rights. Additionally, the Constitution of Malta states that no different treatment should be given to different persons attributable to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. But despite this, CCIF looked into discrimination in education in Malta and its universities.
The survey questioned discrimination in education tied to several grounds of diversity : – Cognitive and Learning diversity / Physical and Psychological Diversity – Multiculturalism and Language Diversity / Religion and Belief Diversity / Socio-Economic Diversity – Gender and Sexual Diversity.
Thirty people who are or were students in Malta filled in the questionnaire. 13 (43%) of them carry or still pursue their studies at MCAST, 9 (30%) attend or attended the University of Malta (Valletta Campus), and the rest of the students attend or attended English schools, Maria Assumpta Secondary school, or Lscm Malta.
The ages of respondents are between 19 and 51, with an average age of 28 years.
Some 70% (21 participants) admitted to having experienced discrimination in education, while 7% (2 participants) said that they were responsible for discrimination during their school years. Another 7% (2 participants) said that they were not aware whether they have been responsible for discrimination.
The majority reported that discrimination is mainly based on ethnicity, followed by gender, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.
- Discrimination on the ground of ethnicity (N=30) 47% of the participants have already been discriminated because of their ethnicity in the Maltese education field.
- The results of this survey highlighted discrimination on the basis of ethnicity is more common among participants from Asia (100%) and Africa (80%). The participants who come from Europe and North-America prove to be the least affected on grounds of ethnicity. •
- Discrimination on the ground of gender (N=30) 33% (10) of the participants have already been discriminated on the ground of gender.
- Unlike other results found in the literature, 40% of male respondents reported more discrimination than women (25%) in terms of gender
- Discrimination tied to religious beliefs saw 47% (14) of the participants claiming that they have already been discriminated against due to their religious beliefs
- The results of the survey highlight more discriminatory acts directed against people with religious beliefs in line with Islam (60%). Surprisingly, atheist participants reported more discrimination than Catholics.
- Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation (N=28) 21% (6) of the participants have already been discriminated on the ground of their sexual orientation. The results shows discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is predominantly against the LGBTQ+ community while 10% of the heterosexual participants report discrimination, 50% of the LGBTQ+ have already experienced discrimination on the ground of their sexual orientation in the Maltese education field
- Discrimination on the ground of disability (N=29) 5 (17%) of the participants of this survey have a disability. The kinds of disability are multiple: intellectual and learning disability, emotional and behavioural challenges, physical and sensory impairment, and autism. Two of them (40%) have already experienced discrimination because of their disabilities on the education field.
- 48% (14) of the participants don’t know how to report acts of discrimination. And 90% (26) find a prevention campaign against discrimination in Maltese universities useful.
The survey suggests that there are cases of discrimination on the ground of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and disability in the Maltese education field. The participants’ sample of this survey is not quite large to draw more specific findings.