Delphine Dorsi, Director of Right to Education Initiative and Jamil Salmi, Global Tertiary Education Expert join Emma Sabzalieva, Head of Research and Foresight (UNESCO IESALC) to talk about inclusion policies and initiatives around the world and how they connect to the right to higher education.
Higher education is too often dissociated from the right to education. In many countries tuition fees are on the rise, and only the privileged have access to, or succeed in completing, higher education, making it difficult to argue that there is an actual right to higher education to be enforced. However, international human rights law is clear: the right to education includes the obligation of states to ensure that higher education is made accessible to all based on capacity.
The number of forcibly displaced persons is on the rise worldwide, and they are displaced for increasingly protracted periods. Access to education for refugee children and youth remains a major concern, including at the higher education level. While data on refugee access to higher education remain scarce and incomplete, it is estimated that only 3 per cent of refugees were enrolled in higher education in 2021. This figure stands in contrast to a global gross enrolment ratio (GER)1 in higher education of 38 per cent worldwide in 2018.
In 1995, the parents of an Indian pupil brought a case against University of Natal because her application to medical school was rejected despite the satisfactory results she obtained in her qualifying examinations. They claimed that the admission process was discriminatory because it did not consider all the applications equally, but set higher admission standards for Indian students and lower ones for African students.
The UNESCO World Higher Education Conference (WHEC 20222) that took place in Barcelona, Spain, from 18-20 May was a great and grandiose event that gathered around 1,500 in person participants - and many more online - around 120 roundtable sessions, 86 ‘HED’ talks and five youth-led activities.
On 10 May, we held a roundtable discussion with French State representatives and the academic community on the right to higher education in France, to discuss the issues of territorial inequalities and privatisation.
This short briefing note addresses the concepts of 'merit' and 'capacity' in relation to higher education from a human rights perspective.
Is French Higher Education truly accessible to all, without any discrimination? What are the impacts of the privatization of Higher Education on the right to equal access to Higher Education and quality education for all?
In our last article, we addressed the impact of Covid-19 on students' mental health. We highlighted how financial struggles increase the risk of mental health issues, and the ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened students’ precarity.