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ERIC Number: EJ1141835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
Should the Public Pay for Higher Education? Equality, Liberty, and Educational Debt
Martin, Christopher
Theory and Research in Education, v15 n1 p38-52 Mar 2017
As governments shift costs from the public to students, a higher education has become synonymous with educational debt. Liberal egalitarians have justified educational debt on the grounds that it facilitates socioeconomic equality. On this view, the public should only fund access for those students who are so poorly off that educational debt would be too risky. In this article, I offer a "fair play" analysis of higher education funding in order to show that socioeconomic equality is a necessary, but insufficient, criterion for assessing the fair contribution of public funding to higher education. In particular, I argue that higher education is instrumental to the free pursuit of a good life. I then argue that educational debt is unjust when it constrains borrower's freedom to pursue a good life relative to those who do not have to borrow. In such cases, public funding should cover the attendance of students who would otherwise have no choice but to borrow in order to access a higher education.
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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