22 SES 13 B, Access to Higher Education: Contemporary challenges across different countries
Supporting access to and successful participation in higher education is a shared global challenge. While some of the private benefits or returns to higher education have come under scrutiny recently, by and large, globally the story still seems to hold that graduates usually enjoy better health, more stable employment, more autonomous jobs, higher life-time earnings and are more engaged in civic life than non-graduates. For most, higher education is a life-changing experience that opens new horizons, while there are gains for their communities, their nations and across the globe.
However, there is ample evidence from around the world that the opportunities to access higher education are not equally distributed. In the developing world, access is generally still reserved for a privileged few. In the developed nations, where mass systems of higher education predominate, access for disadvantaged groups is stronger but social elites still dominate, often with a saturated market for those at the top. Fair access to high-status universities is a particular concern for such countries.
This is the backdrop for these two part symposia which are based around a new book on access to higher education. The first symposium lays out theoretical perspectives for understanding access to higher education and this second symposium provides empirical perspectives. The symposium starts off with an overview of the access challenge presented by a team from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Their study identifies recent trends in access to postsecondary education and government expenditure across countries and regions worldwide. It also examines gender and wealth-related inequality both within and between countries. This contribution is based on data drawn from cross-nationally comparable data by the UNESCO and international household survey programmes.
The two other contributions addressing contemporary challenges in the real-world of access as experienced by practitioners and academics, namely the challenge of international mobility and how it relates to social origin and the challenge of access to elite higher education. Both these contributions ook at high-status higher education and how social elites benefit from highly hierarchical systems and the ability to be geographically mobile.
This symposium is hoped to be useful to policymakers, practitioners, teachers and students, as well as to the researchers. We believe that a dialogue between disciplines and between theoretical perspectives will support the next wave of policy and practice, seeding greater insight into contemporary challenges and new approaches to delivering a fairer distribution of the benefits that higher education can offer.
Mountford-Zimdars and Harrisoin eds (2017) Access to Higher Education Theoretical perspectives and contemporary challenges. Routledge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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