The literacy rate is one of the important indicators of a developed country hence governments focus on enhancing its infrastructure. There are many challenges to promote higher education as demographic and social factors act as barriers to admission for many candidates. The effect of these factors should be explored so that the negative outcomes can be controlled.
Investment in Higher Education
Formal education system is considered as one of the most important needs of an independent country. In many countries particularly the ones who claim or dream to be a welfare state, provision of free and quality education to all the citizens is considered to be one of the major responsibilities of national or federal government. In democratic form of government, budget allocation to high education is one of the initiatives of a successful government. There are many reasons for attributing high level of importance to higher education. Few of them are discussed below.
Higher education determines the level of development in the country. Hence, economic development becomes the subset of higher education. People enrolling themselves in colleges and universities learn to unleash their potential so that they can play their role in the development of the country. These fresh graduates are the creative players of economic industry. They define new standards in the industry and perform the functions which one once considered impossible by the human race.
As industries develop, the overall living standard in society improves. People enjoy high purchasing power and use of luxury goods increase in the society. Production and consumption increase and overall economy grows. Countries are more independent when their production increases. It is because; they reduce their imports and rely more on their own products and services. As economic conditions become favorable to the country, production and supply of goods increase and there are more profit margins to invest in infrastructure related to development projects.
Apart from these tangible benefits, there are many advantages which are emotional and social in nature. When people are educated, they learn to delve deep into the concepts of happy relationships, universe creation and mental harmony. Educated people think beyond the boundaries of visible objects and their intellectual talent is unleashed. People learn to face the challenges of life in a better manner and enjoy their lives.
Keeping in view these benefits, every country focuses on high education. People consider it as one of the main requirements to spend healthy and useful lives. People plan their education as they plan their housing and family. As the need and importance of higher education is established, it is important for government to promote it and provide the citizens with the facilities to educate themselves. There are certain challenges in the way of making education accessible to all.
Statement of Problem
One of the hindrances in the way to promote higher education is related to limited capacity of higher educational institutes. The population of every country is increasing hence resource consumption is increasing as well. On the other hand, resources are not increasing at the rate that can match with population increase rate. In addition to resource limitations, the facilities which are developed using these resources are also limited.
Talking in the perspective of educational institutes, there are limited seats available in each of them. As governments need to focus on the development of every area of the country, there are certain regulations which are imposed on educational institutes about admission of students belonging to various areas. In order to ensure equitable representation of every area in the country, quota systems are introduced for admission (Bardes, Shelley and Schmidt, 2013).
Quota system ensures that the university seats will be reserved for students belonging to various areas and people of every area gets equitable opportunity to get higher education. It is to ensure that all the areas contribute to the development and none of them stays deprived. Urban areas have more seats as compared to rural areas. As seats are restricted to area wise representation, the element of merit is ignored.
It happens quite often that there are many candidates who pass the admission test and perform well before interview panel as well but they are refused for admission on grounds that there are better scorers from the same area. Hence these capable individuals cannot get admission. On the other hand, there are candidates from rural areas who perform quite low but university management is bound to give them admissions as per regulatory requirements. It is not at discretion of university to reject the rural candidates and offer admission to urban candidates.
This issue is quite common in public sector universities which are state owned and offer education at low fee. There are many universities which are not state owned but private in nature. These universities are not bound to follow quota restrictions. However, their fee structure is different from that of public sector universities. These universities offer education at much higher rates which are usually difficult to afford by the middle class students (Fegan and Field, 2009). Hence there is another barrier to admission in these universities.
The barriers to admission in university pose serious challenges for the students as well as the government authorities. There are many students who are bright enough to get admission in any reputed university but they cannot get because of their demographic and social factors (Douglass, 2007). These factors are increasingly becoming hindrance in the way of promoting higher education in the country. As higher education is not accessible to all the eligible citizens, the considerable share of human resource is being wasted. These people could play their role in the development of country but as they are deprived of higher education, they are not qualified for white collar jobs and they are bound to stay hand to mouth.
Either they join a low cadre job which is much lower than their competencies or the welfare states pay them unemployment allowance which is an additional burden on the budget of government. It happens quite often that these people start hunting foreign universities which somehow get impressed with their talent and offer them admission. After graduating from a foreign university, people tend to serve the international market and consequently their own country fails to get advantage of their talent.
This situation is highly undesirable for individuals and governments alike. There is serious need to address these social and demographic factors which are hindrances in the way of promoting higher education for capable citizens.
Statement of Purpose
Having identified social and demographic factors as a barrier to admission in higher educational institutes and consequently in the way to social and economic development, there is serious need to address these issues. This research study is conducted to explore how these factors become barriers for admission and what are the most effective ways to remove these barriers. Broadly speaking, this research study is conducted to promote higher education for all the capable individuals of the country so that all are provided with opportunities to play their respective roles in the development of country.
The purpose seems to be too broad to be opted for at this stage of study, but it is important to mention that it is the main purpose behind this study. There can be certain sub-objectives stemming from the same objective but their efficacy should be measured in the light of main purpose only. Taking quota system for instance, the first hand opinion is to offer admission to candidates who score well on admission test and interview regardless of their origin and area. It seems quite justified as well that the ones who work hard, should be given the reward. There is no contribution of the individual to be born at certain place hence advantage of area in quota system is not justified.
Viewing the same argument from another perspective, it becomes evident that urban areas are always more developed than rural areas. If there is no quota system, it becomes obvious that rural areas will remain deprived and polarity between the two regions will increase. Rural areas will never be developed hence the same country will have extreme educational levels in the country. It can result in prejudices among the citizens of the same country and in the worst scenario people may enter into protest against government for not giving them the facilities they require.
Based on this argument, ignoring the factor of origin seems biased. This is the reason quota system is still in practice despite its all shortcomings. There is strong need to develop a system which ensures win-win conditions for all the areas and candidates. Proposing such a system is the ultimate objective of this research study.
The importance of promoting higher education for all is mentioned in the introductory section of the paper. Higher education determines the level of development for a country hence it is extremely important for the governments. Generally speaking in the context of modern 21st century in which wave of…