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.
This report, presented to the 76th session of the General Assembly in October 2021, examines the channels through which poverty is perpetuated, in the areas of health, housing, education and employment. The growth of inequalities itself is an important contributing factor: the more unequal societies are, the less they allow for social mobility. The report argues that ending the vicious cycles of poverty is within reach.
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 2019, the French Constitutional Court (Conseil Constitutionnel) was seized by student unions and associations regarding public higher education tuition fees concerning international students from outside of the European Union. The plaintiffs argued that under paragraph 13 of the preamble of the French constitution, public higher education should be equally accessible to all and free.
Since 2018, the Right to Education Initiative has partnered with the Human Rights Clinic of the Sciences Po Law School to monitor and advocate for equal access to higher education in France using RTE’s monitoring guide.
This report shows how a student’s place of origin within France, that is, the region in which they live prior to the beginning of their studies, coupled with their socio-economic background can mean that the cost of education, which is heavily influenced by the structure of the French higher education system, poses a significant barrier to their enjoyment of the right to higher education.