Can Higher Education Institutions (HEI) Promote Social Justice and Social Responsibility in Light of Neo-Liberal Pressures, Including Privatization?
This session will examine two aspects of social justice and equality among HIEs: the growth of a private tertiary sector worldwide and its impact on the accessibility to universities, and the ways in which universities promote their social responsibility in the neo-liberal world.
The session seeks to include papers examining the ideological framework within which the expansion of a private tertiary sector and of HEIs social responsibility and engagement occur, and the objections often raised by various stakeholders. Can the expansion of higher education through private and often for-profit institutions be seen as a legitimate field for economic growth? What is the profile and what are the expectations of students attending these institutions? What are the consequences for equality of access to elite destinations? In what ways are private and public HEIs socially and economically engaged with their local neighborhoods? And in what ways should they support their inner communities (students, academic and managerial staff, and service employees)? Do these activities facilitate upward social mobility or do they exacerbate larger social inequalities and limit what education can achieve in terms of producing social equity of outcomes?