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Who Should Pay for Higher Education?

BOU-HABIB, PAUL (2010) 'Who Should Pay for Higher Education?' Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44 (4). pp. 479-495. ISSN 0309-8249

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Policies that shift the costs of higher education from the taxpayer to the university student or graduate are increasingly popular, yet they have not been subjected to a thorough normative analysis. This paper provides a critical survey of the standard arguments that have been used in the public debate on higher education funding. These arguments are found to be wanting. In their place, the paper offers a more systematic approach for dealing with the normative issues raised by the funding of higher education. This approach is drawn from the political theory of John Rawls, whose view seeks to reconcile the values of equality, efficiency, and liberty. I show that, contrary to what we may think at first, an egalitarian approach like Rawls' does not in principle rule out policies that shift the funding burden from taxpayers to students or graduates. Which funding policy that approach selects as most fair will instead depend on the likely impact on the lifetime income prospects of the worst-off group in society, and this is a question which will need to be settled by empirical evidence. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 Journal of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 08:45
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:20

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