Should Higher Education be a Right?

When and Where

Monday, February 27, 2023 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Room 200
Larkin Building


Christopher Martin


Should Higher Education be a Right?

It is sometimes claimed that higher education is a right, not a privilege. Defenders claim that tuition fees and student loans should be abolished because they place unjust barriers between citizens and valuable educational opportunities. While it is true that fees can be a barrier to access, there are good reasons to think that full public funding for college/university would actually do more to increase educational inequality than reduce it. Can a case be made for a right to higher education that takes these, and similar worries, into account? In The Right to Higher Education: A Political Theory (2022) I argue that there can. In this talk, I provide a philosophical justification of a right to higher education including its nature, scope, and institutional implications. One upshot of a right-based conception of higher education is that it entails a far more substantial role for education over the lifespan and provides a clear direction for the future growth and development of post-secondary education.

► this event is hybrid. Join in person at the Centre for Ethics (Larkin building, room 200) or online.

Christopher Martin, UBC, Okanagan

Contact Information


Centre for Ethics