ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Logic of Educational Inequality


Every fresh attempt by the government at fashioning out a new education policy comes with a legitimate sense of scepticism that looms large in the minds of people who are genuinely concerned with the widening inequality that has its enduring but distressing presence in the field of higher education. This sense of scepticism gets intensified with attempts at promoting privatisation of higher education coupled with the possibility of foreign universities entering the country. Although the proponents of such a move of privatisation and internationalisation find such an entry advantageous to their respective interests, the union government, while opening the passage for the foreign universities, does reveal that it has some concern for parity in “quality.”

As the EPW editorial (21 January 2023) rightly observes, the entry of foreign universities would not undermine quality in the host country and that there would be equality in quality that exists in the country of origin. Moreover, the editorial rightly points out that the factor which has hastened the internationalisation of the higher education sector is the expectation that the quality of higher education ought to be closer to the global benchmark. For those who are driven by the modernist desire to become educators with a global competence, tend to assume equality with their competitors, which is elitist and hence narrow in its scope and intent. In other words, those who are equal or try to become equal through educational “borrowing” have the required resources to enter the so-called “new” avenues of higher education. Competing to participate in the educational race of becoming globally competent, in fact, also hastens the growth of inequality in the educational sector. Obviously, it is not that every­body would be able to participate in the global chase even if the opportunity is likely to come at our doorstep. The conservative idea of equality, thus, does have a rather narrow and elitist orientation shaped by those who have resources and can afford to enter private institutions with an expensive fee structure which naturally restricts institutional entry to a privileged few.

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Updated On : 4th Feb, 2023
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