pcassuto | 01 mai, 2011 17:38
Equity in Tertiary Education: a Global Challenge
Jamil Salmi, Tertiary Education Coordinator at The World Bank made a presentation entitled Equity in Tertiary Education: a Global Challenge, prepared jointly with Roberta Malee Bassett, Tertiary Education specialist at The World Bank. He started his presentation with the example of Maria, a six‐year‐old girl living in rural Panama: “Maria has four brothers and sisters, and her mother is an illiterate widow who earns about $180 per month as a subsistence farmer. What are Maria’s chances of becoming a prominent lawyer or a university professor? Not very high, and certainly a lot lower than those of a six‐year‐old boy growing up in Panama City with two parents in his home, both with a secondary education and a good income, and only one sibling. All over the developing world, many people face difficult odds of achieving economic and social success, just like Maria… Equality of opportunity is about giving Maria and all other children in the world the same chance to be successful in life.”
What next? Suggestions for specific actions to undertake
For the IAU, designing a self‐assessment instrument and using 10 pilot universities to implement it and discuss the results in a workshop setting was a second step (following the drafting and adoption of the Policy Statement). So for the Association, it was essential to obtain feedback with regard to the validity of the self‐assessment instrument, how it could be improved, how widely it might be applied and, most importantly, what service(s) IAU could offer in the future (if financial support was found).
The self‐assessment tool needs to be improved in several aspects. Most notably, better formulation of questions concerning the context is required. In this regards, the statistical data provided by The World Bank is very useful (please see: http://data.worldbank.org/topic/education). More work and input is needed to focus and frame key questions that would collect information about official government policies and programs with impact on issues equity and access, overall educational system and admission procedures, demographic data broken down by age, SES, gender, race, ethnicity or language groups, and information about other factors such as general graduate employment rates and, if possible, data disaggregated by target group, etc.
Evaluating the Self-assessment Instrument
Using a standardized questionnaire and approach to learn more about a given area of activity, and/or to assist universities in assessing their own policies and practices in order to improve them, is also worth evaluating as a methodology for further work in this area (promoting and improving the provision of equitable access and success or other areas of higher education policy). So the second issue of importance for IAU in this project, was to learn the extent to which the tool developed to gather the information for this report, can serve effectively inside a single institution and across institutions in different parts of the world.