Who Should Go to University? Justice in University Admissions

Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (4):623-641 (2013)
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Current debates regarding justice in university admissions most often approach the question of access to university from a technical, policy-focussed perspective. Despite the attention that access to university receives in the press and policy literature, ethical discussion tends to focus on technical matters such as who should pay for university or which schemes of selection are allowable, not the question of who should go to university in the first place. We address the question of university admissions—the question of who should go to university—from an ethical perspective. We find that most discussions draw on a generic conception of what the university is good for that is too thin to provide deliberative guidance and hold that a full account of the ethics of admissions needs to take into account the distinctive good that the university provides—knowledge and understanding. This view, we hold, does not imply that measures should not be taken to widen access to university; however, the basis for such measures should be grounded in that distinctive good in the first instance



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Author Profiles

Ben Kotzee
University of Birmingham
Christopher Martin
Florida Atlantic University

References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?Michael J. Sandel (ed.) - 2009 - New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
What are universities for?Stefan Collini - 2012 - New York: Penguin Books.

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