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Who Will Pay and Who benefits from Ecuador’s new free higher education?

David, Post

Abstract:
Who benefits from “free” higher education can be a touchy question. Structural adjustments and conditioned World Bank loans forced many countries to scale back on investment in public goods, and many defenders of public subsidy made arguments centered on social equity. Subsidies of universities do have spill-over benefits for society—citizenship, trust, the arts, and locally relevant research. But an empirical question, difficult to avoid, is which groups of children most benefit from subsidy to higher education when they enter the workforce. Ecuador has become the latest testing ground for the attempt to use higher education to reverse decades of racial and social inequality through its prohibition—following a new constitution in 2008—of fees for all public education (including public universities). Equity was the main reason for making education “free” for university students. But the preliminary results of this experiment are not encouraging: so far, those who have been most rewarded by the suspension of fees are members of groups that were already advantaged and likely to attend.

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Document Title: Who Will Pay and Who benefits from Ecuador’s new free higher education?
Journal: International Higher Eucation
Volume: 63
Issue: Winter


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Finance and Physical Resources
Country:International
Keywords:Financial Needs, Financing of Higher Education, Tuition Fees, Trends in Higher Education, Tertiary Education


File Size:85 KB
Date Added:06 October 2011


Who Will Pay and Who benefits from Ecuador’s new free higher education?