This chapter focuses on understanding the contradictory effects of access to higher education on the dynamics of social inclusion. While most of the literature poses great expectations around policies expanding access to education, and most of all, access to higher education, as a tool to promote a more egalitarian world, the results of these policies usually fall short from this brilliant goal.
Our main argument is that a policy design solely focused on preparing young people for higher education condemns all youths excluded from the pipeline that leads to university to face the labor market in a state of disadvantage. Without a broader and certified profile of skills or abilities, these young people will have a very limited professional trajectory and few resources to fight against the commodification of their work capacity.
Thus, our chapter analyzes the social dynamics and impacts to social inclusion produced via four different combinations of patterns of access to higher education and vocational education. In particular, the chapter focuses on the conditions faced by developing countries, where policies focused on expanding access to higher education usually end up in promoting the growth of a large for-profit, demand-driven private sector, which has a perverse effect, deepening the dynamics of social exclusion.
In this concluding chapter, we draw lessons from the higher education cooperation between the EU and the four countries of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa. Each of the previous chapters in this book provided a variety of good practices, challenges and suggestions. We aim to bring together these insights and reflect on these experiences through building a new typology for the internationalisation of higher education from the perspective of policy logics. The typology helps in understanding the dynamics and tensions between the global, national and institutional levels of higher education cooperation between the EU and the third countries.
This chapter presents the main issues addressed by this book when analysing the experiences of cooperation between European Union and Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa. These four countries represent four continents, respectively South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. We chose them as important players in political and economic aspects in the EU’s international relations. These countries are also a major student source for the European higher education market; in recent years all of them have become keen to welcome students from the EU member states and to enhance their internationalisation activities in partnership with European higher education institutions.
The internationalisation of higher education receives support from different sides of society. Depending on the perspectives of participants or stakeholders, internationalisation of higher education may mean different things. In fact, one can argue that a successful initiative for university internationalisation answers the expectations of both the university’s internal and external stakeholders. However, it is not unusual that efforts to build a successful international partnership go into disarray. One of the challenges to effective internationalisation is the lack of real understanding of the partners’ perspective. Awareness of the differences in the rules shaping higher education around the world and of the diversity of goals and expectations each partner brings to the cooperation are the central issues that must be considered when building successful cooperation in higher education. Partners should be aware that higher education is a key factor, historically linked with the state building process and thus an integral part of any country’s identity. The complexity of the higher education system in any country should not be underestimated. By systematically studying the policies for the internationalisation of higher education in both the EU and some of its major partners in other continents and reviewing some concrete experiences, this book will further the understanding of the many challenges that stand in the way of building successful international cooperation in the higher education field.