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Access to Higher Education - Essay Example

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Higher education can be described as education where acquired knowledge is focused on specialization into a particular field of interest. In general, higher learning encompasseducation provided by colleges, and universities…
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Access to Higher Education
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Access to Higher Education

33).Accessing the institutions of higher learning has however been a challenge even to the developed countries and this article tries to show why this is so and why in some countries it has been successfully implemented. This paragraph explores cost as a factor for access to higher education. One challenge that makes higher learning hard to achieve for everyone is the cost implication that comes with it. The cost of acquiring a degree is very high that not everyone in the society can be able to match. This poses a challenge to those in those in the lower class in the society (Harmon 2010, p. 75). Very often, you will find needy students that are very bright but cannot afford to further their studies. The only hope for these students is either to find a sponsor or the government loans and grants provided by governments especially in the developing world. To overcome such a challenge, countries like the Scandinavian countries have made tertiary education to be free for all its citizens regardless of their performance in the secondary school (Harmon 2010, p. 79). What this does is that it ensures no one is denied a chance to further his or her studies.Therefore, cost is really an issue. Next let us explore the loan factor in details.How is loan a factor? Loan as a helping factor to access to education involves the government offering to finance the education of its university population and recover the money once the student has graduated and found employment. The prohibitive factor in this case, however, is that not all students who complete their degrees do find jobs immediately or even at all and thus it is common to find a lot of defaulters and thus the government might not be able to offer enough funds to future deserving cases (White 2008, p. 19). What other governments do to avoid this is that they subsidize the cost of education for all students in public institutions of higher learning to a level where it is affordable to almost everyone. In Kenya for example, the cost of degree courses in public universities there is averagely $300 a year. Such subsidies are however putting a strain in the overall running of the universities and most of them have been forced to look for funds from other sources to run the universities (Thomson 2009, p. 22). This brings in another element in the access to higher learning; inequality. How about exclusivity as a factor? Exclusivity definitely denies everyone access to the best tertiary institutions of choice but the good thing is for those who make it to these institution is the demand they will get in the job market. Here is a look at both sides of this discussion. There are some high end universities that are so sought after that they have to put extra requirement to be accessed. The so-called Ivy League Schools like Oxford and Yale are so expensive to the ordinary person that only the well-off do go there. While these universities actually deserve to be there, it is the inequality that exists that is the problem. You will find that there are different registration numbers for different student with one being for the self-sponsored and another for the government sponsored (Rubin 2012, p.35). This brings about favoritism as the self-sponsored tend to be more favored than the other students because of the amount of money that they bring in to the University. Graduates from these ... Read More
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