Fairness in Access to Higher Education in a Global Perspective

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The Crisis of Higher Education Access—A Crisis of Justice

  • Heinz-Dieter MeyerAffiliated withState University of New York Albany
  • , Edward P. St. JohnAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan
  • , Maia ChankselianiAffiliated withOxford University
  • , Lina UribeAffiliated withResearch Group on Higher Education, Teaching University of Comfacauca

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We view globalization as an ambivalent phenomenon. It spreads neo-liberal and managerialist beliefs in the wholesome effects of free markets around the world, but it also brings human rights based beliefs in equal opportunity to people in all corners of the globe. As these ideas spread, all three of the above models come up hard against the emerging social and moral realities of the 21st century. The old ‘elite only’ model excludes too many talented children of the lower classes from access to higher education in addition to flagrantly violating even the semblance of equal opportunity. The social-democratic model in which all qualified candidates can access higher education at no or little cost has boosted equity, but turned out to be both too expensive and too inefficient to be a viable candidate for future policies.