Fair Access to Higher Education: Global Perspectives


Anna Mountford - Zimdars, Daniel Sabbagh, and David Post. 2015. Fair Access to Higher Education: Global Perspectives. University of Chicago Press1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637Tel: 773-702-7700; Fax: 773-702-9756; e-mail: marketing@pressuchicagoedu; Web site: http://wwwpressuchicagoedu/books.


What does "fairness" mean internationally in terms of access to higher education? Increased competition for places in elite universities has prompted a worldwide discussion regarding the fairness of student admission policies. Despite budget cuts from governments–and increasing costs for students–competition is fierce at the most prestigious institutions. Universities, already under stress, face a challenge in balancing institutional research goals, meeting individual aspirations for upward social mobility, and promoting the democratic ideal of equal opportunity. "Fair Access to Higher Education" addresses this challenge from a broad, transnational perspective. The chapters in this volume contribute to our thinking and reflection on policy developments and also offer new empirical findings about patterns of advantage and disadvantage in higher education access. Bringing together insights drawn from a variety of fields, including philosophy, linguistics, social psychology, sociology, and public policy, the book sheds light on how "fairness" in university admissions has been articulated worldwide. The contents are as follows: (1) Introduction. Fair access to higher education: a comparative perspective (Daniel Sabbagh, David Post, and Anna Mountford-Zimdars); (2) Altering public university admission standards to preserve white group position in the United States: results from a laboratory experiment (Frank L. Samson); (3) "Ensure that you stand out from the crowd": a corpus-based analysis of personal statements according to applicants' school type (Steven Jones); (4) Rural disadvantage in Georgian higher education admissions: a mixed-methods study (Maia Chankseliani); (5) The educational strategies of Danish university students from professional and working-class backgrounds (Jens Peter Thomsen, Martin D. Munk, Misja Eiberg-Madsen, and Gro Inge Hansen); (6) Choices and enrollments in French secondary and higher education: repercussions for second-generation immigrants (Yaël Brinbaum and Christine Guégnard); (7) Admissions policies as a mechanism for social engineering: the case of the Bulgarian communist regime (Pepka Alexandrova Boyadjieva); (8) Access to higher education in Egypt: examining trends by university sector (Elizabeth Buckner); (9) From system expansion to system contraction: access to higher education in Poland (Marek Kwiek); (10) Access and affordability in American higher education (Thomas J. Espenshade and Melanie Wright Fox); and (11) Access to higher education by the luck of the draw (Peter Stone).