Studying in the EU – A Question of Wealth?
February 25, 2010 Leave a Comment
A debate on the possibilities and issues of studying in the EU in a globalized education market
Prof. dr. Luc Soete: Economist and Director of the research institute UNU-MERIT
Prof. dr. Rein de Wilde: Professor of philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
Prof. dr. Jaap Dronkers: Professor in international comparative research on educational performance and social inequality at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), Maastricht University.
On March 2, Maastricht Debates intends to discuss the controversial question whether higher education in Europe depends on one’s social background. This question has two dimensions:
On the one hand, we will tackle the situation of (socially disadvantaged) European students. The issue of tuition fees will be debated, as well as the broader apparent trend of ‘commodification of higher education’ which is said to transform education from a public good or right into a marketable service. This alleged commodification raises concerns about equality of opportunities and social inclusion. In this regard, the role of Maastricht University will be discussed both in terms of ‘commodification/marketization’ and efforts to include socially disadvantaged milieus of society.
On the other hand, we will shed light on the situation of third-country nationals who (desire to) study at European universities. As is the case at Maastricht University, there is often a striking inequality in terms of tuition fees between EU-citizens and third-country nationals. We will discuss whether universities should undertake more efforts to grant simpler and cheaper access for students outside Europe. It might seem that European universities, Maastricht University included, conduct this fee policy primarily for financial reasons, as it obviously pays off financially to ‘export’ the service of higher education for good money to those few that can afford it. In this respect, the role of study grants also has to be taken into account.
Source: Maastricht Debates