The rapid expansion of higher education in the past two decades, as well as the growing diversity of providers and technological models for delivering education, have made higher education accessible to more students globally. Yet significant barriers remain for many vulnerable groups, and women still lag behind in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A better understanding of inequality as well as new paradigms, strategies and a renewed political will for ‘leaving no one behind’ are required. Structural equity policies at all levels throughout the education system, as well as extraordinary measures when needed, should ensure that students from any background with the potential to succeed are fully integrated with equal opportunities into higher education. This policy paper reviews the current literature and sets out findings and recommendations to increase and strengthen equity and inclusion in higher education in a lifelong learning perspective. It provides a conceptual framework for equity and inclusion, analyses the urgent need to improve funding and its efficiency, provides insight into the challenges for teaching and teachers, and recommends policy measures for establishing higher education systems that are more equitable and more inclusive.
Read the paper Making Higher Education more inclusive