Higher education is part of the right to education, protected under international human rights law. This means that states have the obligation to protect respect and fulfil the right to higher education and that there are ways to hold them accountable for violations or deprivations of this right.
However, despite a comprehensive international legal framework ensuring the right to higher education without any discrimination and a wide political commitment to promote inclusion in higher education, important inequalities persist, both in terms of access to higher education and of access to the most socially rewarding degrees and programmes. Issues such as privatisation of higher education and rising tuition fees represent a threat to equal access and participation in higher education, especially in contexts where structural social inequalities - such as class, gender, or territorial inequalities - persevere. Moreover, certain groups - such as ethnic, racial, and religious minorities as well as migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers - are still widely underrepresented in higher education if compared to their proportion in the population as a whole.
We have launched a brand new guide to enable academics, student groups, education activists and CSOs to monitor inequalities in access and participation in higher education from a human rights perspective. It includes detailed and step-by-step guidance facilitating the monitoring process and enabling those without a legal training or background to document and report on the situation in their nations, with the objective of protecting and promoting the right to higher education.
Monitoring the right to education is at the heart of the work of the Right to Education Initiative, and this guide builds on our legacy and body of work providing practical advice on monitoring various aspects of the right to education from a human rights perspective.
Read the guide here
Read additional guides in the series here