Access to Higher Education - Vol. 1

Access to Higher Education - Vol. 1

Access to Higher Education - Vol. 1

Access to Higher Education - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This introduction to the report of the International Study of University Admissions was prepared at the suggestion of the study's advisory commission of experts after they had reviewed and approved a draft of the report at their final conference, held at Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Como, Italy, in June 1962. The commission believed that a general explanation of the study's origins and of the report's major findings would provide the reader with a helpful preliminary view of topics discussed in detail in the following chapters.

As has been pointed out in Dr. Zurayk's foreword, the study, established in the spring of 1960 on the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Association of Universities, was conceived as a project in international education research. Its task was to examine the process of admission to higher education as it is practised in educational systems throughout the world. The purpose of the project was to identify the causes and the consequences of difficulties that had developed within the admissions process during the late 1950's, as well as any possible remedies for them.

These difficulties, which had been reported by many countries to the two international organizations, were discussed at length by the nine members of the commission of experts at their first meeting, in Paris, in the summer of 1960. In the course of describing the admissions situations in their own countries, the members discovered that they shared with all the other countries a problem that pervades and dominates all admissions considerations -- an imbalance between the number of candidates for institutions of higher education and the number of students who can be accommodated. Universities and other institutions, the commission agreed, are faced each year with more applicants than they can accept; if present conditions continue, the situation will become worse instead of better. The variety of problems resulting from this imbalance was indicated in forceful terms by the members' comments:

'The secondary schools prepare and graduate more students than can be admitted to the universities. Neither secondary nor higher education is suffi-

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