Mass University and Social Inclusion: The Paradoxical Effect of Public Policies

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Mass University and Social Inclusion: The Paradoxical Effect of Public Policies


  • Pierre Canisius Kamanzi Faculty of Education, University of Montreal, Canada
  • Gaële Goastellec LACCUS/OSPS, Institute of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Laurence Pelletier Faculty of Education, University of Montreal, Canada


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Abstract:  The objective of this article is to revisit the role of public policies in the social production and reproduction of university access inequalities that have been made evident more than ever in the current intensified mass higher education context. Although the situation is complex and varies from one societal context to another, a systematic review of the existing literature highlights the undeniable responsibility of public policies in this reproduction through three main channels: guidance systems and educational pathways, institutions’ stratification and hierarchization of fields of study and, finally, the financing of studies and tuition fees.

Keywords:  educational policies; equity; higher education; inequality; public policies; social exclusion; university

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i3.4165


© Pierre Canisius Kamanzi, Gaële Goastellec, Laurence Pelletier. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.