Citation

Can Ecuador put the genie of higher education back in the bottle? Equity and access in a deregulated system

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Abstract:

This paper offers a first-hand account for the current attempt by Ecuador's current executive branch to "the genie" of higher education - which has been deregulated since 1995 - "back into the bottle" of state control. Our account draws on participant-observations over six months, when the author reviewed internal documents, analyzed national survey data, and interviewed political leaders. I first document the pattern of expansion of university enrollments and institutions. I then present the dilemmas facing any government that tries to link higher education planning with development goals following privatization and massification. I suggest that pubic regulation without public funding will be challenge in Ecuador - just as it has been elsewhere - because so many private universities no longer rely on Ecuadorian accreditation. As an alternative to centralized coordination, there is greater likelihood of success in a mixed coordinating body with the representation of stakeholders from higher education. Another contribution of our research is to assess the equity consequences of Ecuador's landmark Constitutional reform of 2008, when all public university fees were suspended for all students, regardless of ability to pay. Using national survey data from 2007, 2008, and 2009, we find that the main beneficiaries of this fee-suspension have been middle class families and those speaking only Spanish (as opposed to indigenous-origin Quichua speakers). Whether this is considered a transfer to the privileged class or a far-sighted investment in national development depends on one's vantage point in the current political struggles of Ecuador.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503277_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Post, David. "Can Ecuador put the genie of higher education back in the bottle? Equity and access in a deregulated system" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503277_index.html>

APA Citation:

Post, D. , 2011-04-30 "Can Ecuador put the genie of higher education back in the bottle? Equity and access in a deregulated system" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503277_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper offers a first-hand account for the current attempt by Ecuador's current executive branch to "the genie" of higher education - which has been deregulated since 1995 - "back into the bottle" of state control. Our account draws on participant-observations over six months, when the author reviewed internal documents, analyzed national survey data, and interviewed political leaders. I first document the pattern of expansion of university enrollments and institutions. I then present the dilemmas facing any government that tries to link higher education planning with development goals following privatization and massification. I suggest that pubic regulation without public funding will be challenge in Ecuador - just as it has been elsewhere - because so many private universities no longer rely on Ecuadorian accreditation. As an alternative to centralized coordination, there is greater likelihood of success in a mixed coordinating body with the representation of stakeholders from higher education. Another contribution of our research is to assess the equity consequences of Ecuador's landmark Constitutional reform of 2008, when all public university fees were suspended for all students, regardless of ability to pay. Using national survey data from 2007, 2008, and 2009, we find that the main beneficiaries of this fee-suspension have been middle class families and those speaking only Spanish (as opposed to indigenous-origin Quichua speakers). Whether this is considered a transfer to the privileged class or a far-sighted investment in national development depends on one's vantage point in the current political struggles of Ecuador.


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