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The report addresses issues and challenges to the right to education in the digital age, with a focus on higher education. It considers how the norms and principles that underlie the right to education should be upheld while embracing digital technologies. The report concludes with recommendations for ensuring that the use of digital technology in education is in keeping with State obligations on the right to education.

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This study examines the relationship between institutional autonomy and the security of higher education institutions from violent and coercive attacks. The paper includes a review of the limited literature available, as well as a series of examples illustrating different forms of attacks. These include arrests related to classroom content in Zimbabwe, sectarian divisions in Iraq, impunity for murders of academics in Pakistan, and physical intimidation on campuses in Tunisia. The study suggests that institutional autonomy plays a direct and indirect protective function. It directly helps protect systems of higher education from government interference, making it more difficult for states to act as perpetrators. It also indirectly helps preserve higher education against actual and perceived politicization and ideological manipulation, which in turn might help insulate it from attacks by nonstate parties. The study suggests a framework for examining questions of autonomy and security which in turn suggests a need to develop strategies aimed at increasing autonomy and security simultaneously. This necessarily requires approaches aimed at encouraging states to fulfill their obligations not to engage in or to be complicit in attacks (negative obligations) and obligations to protect higher education from attack and to deter future attacks by holding perpetrators accountable (positive obligations). The study concludes with brief recommendations on how different stakeholders might work to encourage greater understanding and implementation of these obligations, including further research, expert roundtables and information-sharing, development of guidelines and related advocacy campaigns.

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International human rights law requires States to provide equal access to higher education without discrimination and to ensure the progressive realization of the right to free higher education. Although France outperforms many countries at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on many metrics regarding higher education, there remains significant problems, particularly ensuring equal access for students based on their place of origin. The opportunities students have, are not equal across all regions of France. Part of this inequality can be attributed to the socio-economic status of individual students. However, regional differences operate independently, and can exacerbate socio-economic inequalities, in determining participation in higher education. 

This policy brief shows that the unequal distribution of higher education institutions across the country results in students having to move across regions to access higher education, thus incurring costs (mainly housing and transportation), which are harder to meet for those who do decide to move, due to regional differences in standards of living. Coupled with the stagnation of budget allocation to higher education and the general rise in tuition fees, these indirect costs of education constitute a significant barrier to the enjoyment of the right to free higher education on a non-discriminatory basis.

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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. 

This paper aims to contribute to the discussions regarding the impacts privatisation process brings to the accomplishment of the right to education, taking the Brazilian reality as a reference.

The paper draws up a brief characterisation of the education provision in Brazil, in order to define the situation of educational services and the presence of private sector in the coverage of basic (early years, elementary and secondary education) and higher education schools. Next, it points out the main areas of privatisation of education in Brazil. At the end, it lists, from the analysis of the national context and researches conducted on this topic, the main tension points between the increasing privatisation process and the enjoyment of the human right to education, with reference to the contents of this right in the terms it was established in the General Comment 13.

This guide to the right to education provisions in the European Social Charter focuses on free primary and secondary education, vocational training and higher education, and the education of children with disabilities.

Following the Iranian revolution of 1979, due to their affiliation with political or religious groups, a great number of Iranian students were temporarily or permanently deprived of their right to education. Many students were expelled from university for membership in non-Islamic groups. In recent years the number of students whom organizations under the supervision and control of the Iranian regime has banned or “starred” from education has increased dramatically.

The Right to Education Report aims to raise awareness by providing comprehensive reporting on cases of student rights violations and any other form of education deprivation in Iran throughout the last three decades.

Scholars at Risk announces the release of Free to Think, a report of the Academic Freedom Monitoring Project. The culmination of four years of monitoring and analysis by SAR staff and researchers around the world, the report analyzes 333 attacks on higher education communities in 65 countries from January 2011 to May 2015, demonstrating the pressing need to raise awareness and document attacks on higher education:

  • There is a crisis of attacks on higher education communities around the world.
  • Attacks on universities, scholars and students are early warning signs of political, social and cultural insecurity.
  • Universities and scholars are critical parts of national infrastructure that is essential to rebuilding conflict torn states.

The report calls on all stakeholders, including the international community, states, the higher education sector, civil society and the public at large to undertake concrete actions to increase protection for higher education communities, including documenting and investigating attacks, and holding perpetrators accountable.

This study on academic freedom seeks to get first-hand perspectives on the state of academic freedom and its protection at institutional and national levels, examining what policies and mechanisms are put in place to protect this freedom, how academic freedom is threatened or curtailed, and finally what recourse may be available to the members of the academic community to complain and seek redress concerning such violations.

Higher education is a human right. In the United States, we have become complacent about the skyrocketing costs of higher education where yearly expenses at many highly selective universities well exceed the median income of United States workers. We need to change the dialogue about higher education so that it does not become a luxury only the wealthy can afford. This article examines the right to higher education under international law and argues that it is already an established right and not a luxury item. Additionally, not only is a higher education a human right, but it has an important national security value. Using the Syrian refugee crisis as an example, the world cannot risk a ‘lost generation’ of students who do not get the education they need to rebuild and lead their country and counter terrorist messages that breed in failed states. We need diversity in education and people with capacity from all backgrounds should be able to exercise their human right to education, at all levels.

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