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ERIC Number: EJ1110842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Should Students Have to Borrow? Autonomy, Wellbeing and Student Debt
Martin, Christopher
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v50 n3 p351-370 Aug 2016
The orthodox view on higher education financing is that students should bear some of the costs of attending and, where necessary, meet that cost through debt financing. New economic realities, including protracted economic slowdown and increasing austerity of the state with respect to the public funding of goods and services has meant that the same generation who have to borrow the most in order to attend face significantly fewer employment prospects upon graduation. In this context, is the current approach of shifting the costs of post-secondary education from the general public to individual students justified? Most debate on the issue has focused on the demands of distributive justice within the modern higher education system and on the whole accepts the idea that students ought to pay. I argue that distributive arguments alone are insufficient because they tacitly endorse the provision of higher education as being much like a consumer's choice. As an alternative, I explore the place and importance of higher education in supporting personal autonomy as a central liberal democratic value. I then argue that debt financing of higher education places unreasonable constraints on student's choices with respect to the kind of democratic citizens that they would otherwise aspire to be. This constraint has negative implications for the wellbeing of individual students and the larger society.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A