International Review of Education

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 361–377 | Cite as

The equity imperative in tertiary education: Promoting fairness and efficiency

Article

Abstract

While the share of the tertiary education age cohort (19–25) which is being given the opportunity to study has increased worldwide over the past two decades, this does not in fact translate into reduced inequality. For many young people, especially in the developing world, major obstacles such as disparities in terms of gender, minority population membership or disabilities as well as academic and financial barriers are still standing in their way. The authors of this article propose a conceptual framework to analyse equity issues in tertiary education and document the scope, significance and consequences of disparities in tertiary education opportunities. They throw some light on the main determinants of these inequalities and offer suggestions about effective equity promotion policies directed towards widening participation and improving the chances of success of underprivileged youths in order to create societies which uphold humanistic values.

Keywords

Tertiary education Inequality Equity of access Gender parity 

Résumé

L’impératif de l’équité dans l’enseignement supérieur : promouvoir l’égalité et l’efficacité – Si la proportion de la population immatriculée dans l’enseignement supérieur (groupe d’âge 19–25 ans), qui bénéficie de la possibilité de suivre des études, a augmenté à l’échelle mondiale au cours des deux dernières décennies, cette avancée ne se traduit pas dans les faits par une réduction des inégalités. De nombreux jeunes gens, notamment dans le monde en développement, se heurtent à des obstacles majeurs tels que les disparités dues au sexe, à l’appartenance à un groupe minoritaire ou à un handicap, ainsi qu’à des barrières d’ordre scolaire et financier. Les auteurs présentent un cadre conceptuel permettant d’analyser les questions d’équité dans l’enseignement supérieur et documentent l’ampleur, la portée et les conséquences des inégalités dans le secteur. Ils éclairent quelque peu les principaux déterminants de ces disparités et proposent des politiques de promotion efficace de l’équité, qui visent à élargir la participation et à améliorer les chances de réussite des jeunes défavorisés, dans la perspective de créer des sociétés porteuses de valeurs humanistes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BogotaColombia
  2. 2.The World BankLondonUK

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