Right to Higher Education: Unpacking the international normative framework in light of current trends and challenges

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.

Refugees’ Access to Higher Education in their Host Countries: Overcoming the ‘super-disadvantage’

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.

Motala and Another v University of Natal (Supreme Court of South Africa; 1995)

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.

A revolution for higher education: key takeaways from the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference

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.

Date: 
31 May 2022

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