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18 June 2021: UNRISD webinar examines Universities and Social Inequalities in the Global South

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is organising a webinar “Universities and Social Inequalities in the Global South” on 18 June 2021. Higher education can be a key driver of development and a force for social mobility. It can also be a path to overcome inequalities across gender and race by fostering labour market opportunities. But such outcomes are not automatic. If higher education is not implemented equitably, it has the potential to entrench existing inequalities and create new ones. This problem is not new, but it has taken on renewed importance with the shift to remote learning—for some—during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This event will explore what this has meant on the ground in several countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Who can access these opportunities and at what cost, what disparities exist between such opportunities, and what are the implications for social mobility and inequality.

Broadly speaking, higher education has expanded globally over the last several decades? The empirical research presented will serve as a jumping-off point for a discussion around the potential of higher education to reduce inequalities, and the circumstances necessary for this outcome. Check out the papers being presented here.

Event flyer available here.

Register here

Paper presentations

  • Inequalities in Higher Education Access and Completion in Brazil – Tristan McCowan and Julio Bertolin
  • Diversity and Liberalization Reforms: Evidence from the University of Nairobi – Rebecca Simpson and Andrew Harris (Rebecca Simpson presenting)
  • Higher Education Expansion and Social Inequalities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conceptual and Empirical Perspectives – Yann Lebeau and Ibrahim Ogachi Oanda
  • Leaving No One Behind Through University Education: Actors, Prospects, Challenges, and Contradictions in Ghana – Jasper Ayelazuno and Maxwell A. Aziabah
  • Social Mobility and Higher Education in Chile and Peru – Anja Gaentzsch and Gabriela Zapata Román
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