The Quota Quandary

The Quota Quandary
The United States is not the only country struggling with affirmative action in university admissions

2/13/04 Chronicle of Higher Education


Largely unnoticed by those mired in this debate, a number of other countries have also enacted preferential university-admissions policies in the past few decades. While each system was developed to meet the specific needs of a particular society — whether it revolves around religion, ethnicity, race, or gender — each country has wrestled with similar questions: How does one create a policy that helps the disadvantaged without hurting everyone else? Do the policies help or harm academic quality? And, most important, do they actually work? Typically, says Philip G. Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education, at Boston College, “it’s a very mixed picture.”

It appears that affirmative action based on “race” and “ethnicity” is designed to divert attention from class-based inequalities. It is cheaper than providing a decent educational system for all students.

One comment

  1. Its more than just an equal educational system that is needed but I do believe the solution should be need based. Not ethnic or racially based. If the need is greater in an Ethnicity, the need will make more students be helped.

    Wed 2/11/2004 9:45 AM

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