DETERMINATION OF COLLEGE EXPECTATIONS IN OECD COUNTRIES: THE ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL AND STRUCTURAL FACTORS
Renowned international experts in higher education financing have argued that, owing to large government deficits, tertiary education will not be able to open up and meet growing demand unless cost-sharing principles and efficient student financial aid programmes are introduced. Opponents of cost-sharing in higher education object that introducing tuition fees will raise inequality in access to higher education. Drawing on OECD data, and focusing on college expectations, the authors argue that the effects of ability, gender, and socio-economic background on college expectations are primarily shaped by the characteristics of secondary education systems, such as the degree of stratification and vocational specificity of secondary schools, while the principal characteristics of the tertiary education system, such as enrolment rates and the model of financing, play a much less important role. The results clearly show that, after controlling for the effects of secondary school system characteristics, cost-sharing, as such or by degree, does not affect the formation of college expectations by ability, gender, and socio-economic background as much as the selectivity of the secondary school system does.
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