Mitigating Inequality: Higher Education Research, Policy, and Practice in an Era of Massification and Stratification: Volume 11
Table of contents(23 chapters)
List of Contributors
Part I: The State of Access and Equity
Enrollment in higher education in Brazil has been steadily growing and has reached 7 million recently. However, still only 21% of the population with age between 18 and 24 attend a higher education course. In this paper, we analyze how family income and race (defined in Brazil by self-declared skin color) affect the equity of access to higher education.
The higher education system in Vietnam has expanded rapidly during the past two decades, creating opportunities for personal advancement by hundreds of thousands of young Vietnamese. On the limited evidence available, however, it appears that these opportunities have not been distributed equitably. Young people from better-off homes from urban areas and from the ethnic majority group seem more likely to have benefitted. Girls also appear to have benefitted, a trend that is a reverse of the past. In this paper, we report on the state of access to higher education in Vietnam and we report on areas of policy that relate to achieving a more socially inclusive higher education system.
Since the 1960s, Egypt has sought to increase equality in access to higher education. Data show that completion of pre-tertiary education has become more equal. However, this trend toward equality did not extend to higher education. Rather, entry to higher education has become more unequal during this period, principally due to tracking at the secondary level. Secondary track is highly correlated with wealth: students from the poorest families overwhelming attend technical education; most children from wealthy families attend general (academic) secondary. Lucas (2001) has called this relationship between wealth and tracking “Effectively Maintained Inequality.”
This paper focuses on the analysis of how mass inclusion has taken place primarily in the private higher education sector. I present data on the evolution of Brazilian higher education, indicating the complementary roles undertaken by public and private sectors and their effects on the present configuration of our higher education. Then, I discuss the increase in higher education enrollment, in view of two factors: the widening of the supply and demand base – the former specifically by means of the expansion of for-profit private sector – and the adoption of mechanisms for access and commitment to higher education by public financing for students in private institutions.
Part II: Higher Education and the Public Good
This paper examines the growth of private corporate influence in American higher education. A key question is corporate philanthropy and privatization at what cost? The terms often used in these discussions are commodification of the academy, privatization of a public good, or the increasing corporatization of higher education. Today, American universities are responding to the demands of the marketplace, as knowledge is being used as a form of venture capital and where professors have become academic entrepreneurs and students have become consumers. The foregoing is made more complex as an increasingly diverse student pool seeks access to postsecondary education, in the face of federal policies that serve to restrict access and financial support. A discussion of the collateral costs of our corporate culture as we face challenges to access, equity, and opportunity in America in the twenty-first century concludes this paper.
This research is being developed by two interinstitutional, research groups. The aim is to find and disseminate good practices of organizational models of teaching and learning in Colombian public universities. Initially started in the vision of Burton Clark (1921–2009), who defined the concept of “innovation” as “a voluntary effort for organizing the institution that requires a very special activity and energy” (Clark, 1998, p. 25), the groups have found three more characteristics that ought to be studied through a Participatory Action Research Model. Colombia’s Governments have had through the years a determination for social inclusion through education. In this context, Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia (UNAD) is considered to be an entrepreneurial and innovative university, so its organization and goals are presented. Studying the best university practices of different countries creates progress toward the goal of global education.
With just a small proportion of the population holding a college degree, the material and symbolic advantages of higher education are quite substantive in Brazil. In the last decade, social demand led to the expansion of public universities and the adoption of affirmative actions. Using data from four public universities in the state of São Paulo, the paper shows an increase in the numbers of students from lower-income and less educated families. Their relative inclusion, however, has reproduced the traditional social segmentation in Brazilian higher education, keeping access to prestigious majors more difficult to those with fewer resources.
Just over a decade after the first universities in Brazil adopted quotas for Afro-Brazilians and other disadvantaged groups, the country has implemented the most sweeping affirmative action policies in the Western Hemisphere. The surrounding controversy has inspired a large number of studies, which seek to evaluate the impact and scope of the policies, in terms of racial and social inequality, as well as to gauge perceptions within the public at large. This paper reviews some of the most significant findings of those studies, which have important implications for the global debate over affirmative action in higher education.
This paper aims to contribute to the development of a new concept of support for higher education students in public universities in Brazil. The recent expansion of enrollment in federal universities in Brazil, due to the affirmative action policies and increase in the number of admissions, has increased the number of students in need of special support, including financial help and special programs for academic support (language courses, enrollment in special projects, and others). We explore different dimensions of student support in order to contribute to a more complex perspective about the demands and expectations of these students.
As demand for access to colleges and universities prompts higher education systems for creative and efficient solutions, we examine technology-centric approaches to education delivery and their implications for policy, student outcomes, and resource allocation. Our work is framed by Kingdon’s adapted multiple streams theory of national policymaking. However, the real elephant in the room may be the skyrocketing costs of administration that may need wrangling before resources can be directed to the future potential savings obtained through developing infrastructure for, and delivery of, tech-centric teaching approaches. We provide examples and strategies, policy implications, and recommendations for research and practice.
Part III: Models for Student Access and Success
In this study, I analyze two Brazilian experiences, their main characteristics and quandaries in Brazil. I collect and analyze social–historical documents and statistic data related to the Program of Indigenous Inclusion (PROIND) and University For All Program (PROUNI). It was noticed that both the experiences have contributed for the growth in school registrations of college students from sub-represented ethnical groups, and there was an increase of cultural diversity; although there were marks of resistance from some students and professors, these marks have been overcome by the perseverance and success obtained by those who have been contemplated by these programs.
The objective of this paper is to present the Interdisciplinary Higher Education Program (ProFIS) of the University of Campinas – UNICAMP – and discuss the main challenges related to the implementation of the program and the impact on the educational and professional trajectory of students. ProFIS was set up with a distinctive approach towards social inclusion and curricular innovation, seeking to attract the best students from public high schools to offer them a general education program as a first step in higher education. Another novelty is the inclusion of an ongoing evaluation of the program from its implementation. It merges monitoring and impact evaluation instruments to monitor and improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the interventions. Preliminary results will be discussed in relation to retention and social inclusion.
This paper analyzes affirmative action policies that include racial and socioeconomic criteria in order to enhance the opportunity of access of underrepresented groups in Brazilian elite universities. It focuses on the public system of higher education since research universities in Brazil are mainly public and are free of charge. This renders them very competitive and highly selective. Emphasis is given to issues related to racial quotas, as the latter has been the subject of great controversy in Brazilian society. The experiences of three universities are analyzed.
Access and inclusion in higher education present different problems to highly selective universities, and to unselective, demand-absorbing colleges. Also, the public policy perspective of the government has its own goals and concerns. This paper examines these differences in the case of Chile. Elite institutions face a problem they interpret as a loss of diversity due to the increasing gentrification of their student body. In the other segment of universities, students ready to work at a college level without support are a minority, and institutions attempt to change the profile of their student body through remedial courses and other palliative measures.
This paper provides a multidimensional perspective on higher education participation in Europe and the results of social inclusion policies introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in the year 2000. In addition to taking into account gender, age, economic status, areas of expertise and educational investment, the paper utilizes an intersectional perspective to identify specific needs for the design and improvement of policies and other measures to create a more inclusive higher educational system for underrepresented groups.
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