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Social Justice Profiles: An Exploratory Study towards an Empirically Based Multi-Dimensional Classification of Countries Regarding Fairness of Participation in Higher Education

A new article was published in MDPI/Societies by Prof. MSc. Pepka Boyadjieva (IPS-BAS), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kaloyan Haralampiev (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Petya Ilieva-Trichkova (IPS-BAS)

Abstract

The aim of this article is to suggest a better—theoretically and empirically grounded—understanding of the complex character of social justice in higher education. Theoretically, this article conceptualises social justice in higher education as mediating participation in, completion of and outcomes from higher education. It introduces the concept of composite capability for achieving higher education that captures capabilities to participate in, complete and gain outcomes from higher education. This study also develops a methodology for building an empirically based classification of countries regarding social justice in participation in higher education, taking into account the assessed inequality in students’ pathways to higher education as well as inequality in their social conditions, associated with students’ social origin. In so doing, it develops three indices: the index of inequalities in students’ pathways, the index of inequalities in students’ social conditions and the index of participation in higher education. Using microdata from the EUROSTUDENT VII survey (2019–2021) for 12 European countries, it applies the developed methodology to classify countries, for which data are available, by the degree of fairness in participation in higher education. This study’s results demonstrate the social embeddedness of social justice in higher education in different economic and political contexts.

The article was written under the Just Education – Project “Dynamics of Inequalities in Participation in Higher and Adult Education: A Comparative Social Justice Perspective” (justedu2020.eu)

and is with open access here: Societies | Free Full-Text | Social Justice Profiles: An Exploratory Study towards an Empirically Based Multi-Dimensional Classification of Countries Regarding Fairness of Participation in Higher Education (mdpi.com)