Higher Education, Funding and Access

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


This seminar explores the way in which developed countries are attempting to reconcile efforts to widen access to higher education with the need to develop a fair and sustainable system of student funding. These dual, and sometimes competing, pressures must be understood within the context of globalisation. Developed countries generally see higher education as a way of building knowledge economies, leading to debates about the proportion of students who should be qualified to tertiary level; the division of costs between the individual student and the state; the most effective ways of increasing participation by students from non-traditional backgrounds; and the intended and unintended consequences of widening access initiatives. As noted by Rizvi and Lingard (2010), globalisation is not a one-directional force, but is accompanied by movements to reinforce the local and the regional, often driven by anxiety about the rapid pace of change and a perceived loss of identity. This seminar explores the way in which the twin pressures of globalisation and localisation play out in the field of higher education and in specific debates on fees regimes, access and culture. Broad themes and questions • How should the costs of higher education be distributed between the student, their family and the state? • What are the implications of shifts in tuition fee regimes? • Is higher education in the developed world a driver of social justice or growing inequality? • What are the best means of achieving fairer access? • What challenges are encountered by non-traditional students and how can they be supported?
Period31 Aug 2017
Event typeSeminar
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map


  • higher education
  • funding
  • widening access