A new policy paper from the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO shows that the number of university level students doubled to 207 million between 2000 and 2014.
Governments are struggling to keep pace with rapidly rising demand and large disparities in access, with a large cost of higher education often falling to families, many of whom cannot afford it.
Analysing global trends, the new paper, Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind, shows that only one per cent of the poorest have spent more than four years in higher education, compared to 20 per cent of the richest.
UNESCO, the only UN organisation with responsibility for higher education, advises governments to use a combination of policies aimed at helping the disadvantaged, such as low tuition fees, need-based scholarships and loans repayments adjusted according to income, to help families manage the costs.
The paper draws on a range of examples to show how different countries are expanding and diversifying higher education offerings to achieve greater equity.
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Taya Louise Owens
Taya Louise Owens is a core member of the Global Education Monitoring Report, an annual high level UNESCO report that provides a scientific evidence base for education development and improvement around the world. Taya specialises in monitoring and evaluating global higher education, sustainable development performance indicators, and higher education governance, finance, and quality. Prior, she worked with the State University of New York (SUNY) system on academic program development, accreditation and quality assurance. Taya began her career as a teacher and has lectured at universities in China, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Michaela Martin has a track record of more than 25 years in research and teaching in higher education policy, governance and planning. Since she joined the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in 1990, she has been specialising in resource management in higher education, the management of university-industry partnerships, indicator systems for the monitoring of higher education systems and governance reform in higher education. Since 2004, she has been in charge of an international research and training programme in the area of internal and external quality assurance in higher education. Over the years, she has published some 50 single or co-authored books, articles and several series of training modules, which have been used in many regional settings, and translated in several languages. Between 1988 and 1990, she worked as Scientific Adviser at the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities where she was involved in study activities related to institutional management and planning of European Universities.