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Taking Identities Into Account in Access Policies International trends and local innovations Gaële Goastellec, University of Lausanne, Switzerland OECD Conference, 12/2008
Introduction ¡ ¡ NCS research 2005 -2006 Collaborative research : issue of access and equity policies in its various facets Look at 9 HE systems (UK, SA, the US, France, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Ireland, Indonesia, Israel) Sub-topic: Equity through two tracers: l l Access norms Funding
¡ Aim and structure of this presentation: l l ¡ Identifying historical global trends in access policies Presenting some local innovations The issue of the organization of access to higher education is non dissociable from individual identities and collective belongings
1. Common global patterns regarding access: 3 main principles ` - “Inherited Merit”: characterizes the 1 st period of HE systems. Access is the exclusivity of academically selected students within the dominant group of the society (being a male, coming from the upper class and from an urban area) - Equality of rights: - Equity: Access formal barriers regarding genders and later ethno-racial or social groups are eliminated. Open access to all is supposed to guarantee equal access between individuals independently of their belongings. Eo. P/ widening access to the HE sector as a whole and/or within the most selective institutions in order to build up a student body more representative of the social diversity. Implicates to take identities into account to warrant equality between the various groups.
An emerging “fair” definition of merit? ¡ ¡ Merit becomes the measurement of the distance between the academic level reached by students and the diverse handicaps they had to face (conditions of schooling, social, cultural, geographic, ethno-racial background, disabilities…) This measurement is based on various indicators depending on national traditions
National traditions… Each society has one legitimated category of reading social diversity Examples: - professional categories in France - ethno-racial categories in the US & SA
… moving toward complexity ¡ ¡ ¡ From racial to social identities From social to racial identities And more broadly, a complexification of the identities taken into account to measure inequalities. Eo. O norm is translated into admission processes (Affirmative Action; holistic admission processes…) and increasingly implemented through funding instruments
2. Innovating admission processes ¡ Bronx CC: l l attempt to improve the level of registration for black males. organizes a second start of the academic year for those who walk over the counter after the first start (bridging classes, tutoring and specific calendar for the 1 st semester to overcome their lateness)
¡ University of Johannesburg: l l l 25% of the students: “disadvantaged” students recruited through a second path of admission (specific test) All are oriented towards bridging classes centralized by a Center for teaching and learning (foundation year) One year in or out: if at the end of the first years, academic results insufficient to follow the general program: out
¡ CUNY Honor Colleges l l High end programs for gifted students, many of whom come from underrepresented groups and are first generation students. Students are selected for their academic results and provided with generous financial support and access to NY cultural activities.
¡ Sciences. Po Paris l l l Adopted in 2000 a specific admission process for students coming from geographically identified disadvantaged high schools (ZEP) Reorganized tuition fees and funding to make high family income students pay the price of their studies and low income students benefit from all inclusive fellowships. Aim: to socially diversify the student body
Learning from innovations: l Diversity of the procedures implemented. Focus on specific publics (small scale) and provide academic, economic and cultural support. l Underlines a trend toward a more holistic taking into account of individuals: importance to adapt practices to local specificities and to follow admission processes aimed at taking under represented groups into account.
3. Innovations in funding: Two categories of funding instruments… - students funding: classical cost-sharing rationale (Johnstone; 1986, 2002, 2006) l - Tuition fees (direct or repayable): global trend to increase their weight Grants (need-based/merit-based) loans : principle of a loan framework with later repayment under question in a larger number of HE systems Institutions’ funding Allocation mechanisms taking into account students access dimensions - number of students the characteristics of entering and graduating students (social belonging) Time to graduation…
Funding incentives toward widening access: a new dimension of cost-sharing? ¡ Indexing part of institutional funding on the characteristics of the students registering or/and the students graduating: Has for effect to partly fund institutions on their ability to favor social mobility - Ireland: new funding model 2006 -2008: Integrates State premium for identified target groups of students - Ethiopia: 2003: Higher Education proclamation: funding formula taking into account the type of program or course enrolment of females and disadvantaged students. - SA: funding formula aimed at taking entering and graduating students into account as well as the proportion of “disadvantaged” students.
3. Some conclusions The funding of access can be used by public authorities as an instrument to steer, and, in particular, to implement the Equality of Opportunities norm. The equity norm is helpful as an indicator of institutions’ efficiency especially when it comes to access quality The diversity of identities is increasingly taken into account in innovating institutions admission processes and national funding frameworks. They underline the necessity of a diverse and of always more plural models of taking inequalities into account.
Thank You Gaele. [email protected] ch