Access: World Higher Education Framework of Action
Shaping a New Vision of Higher Education

Article 3. Equity of Access
  1. In keeping with Article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, admission to higher education should be based on the merit, capacity, efforts, perseverance and devotion showed by those seeking access to it, and can take place in a lifelong scheme, at any time, with due recognition of previously acquired skills. As a consequence, no discrimination can be accepted in granting access to higher education on grounds of race, gender, language or religion, or economic, cultural or social distinctions, or physical disabilities

  2. Equity of access to higher education should begin with the reinforcement and; if need to be, the reordering of its links with all other levels of education, particularly with secondary education. Higher education institutions must be viewed as, and must also work within themselves to be part of and encourage, a seamless system starting with early childhood and primary education and continuing throughout life. Higher education institutions must working active partnership with parents, schools, students, socio-economic groups and communities. Secondary education should not only prepare qualified candidates for access to higher education by developing the capacity to learn on a broad basis but also open the way to active life by providing training on a wide range of jobs. However, access to higher education should remain open to those successfully completing secondary school or its equivalent, or presenting entry qualifications, as far as possible, at any age and without any discrimination.

  3. As a consequence, the rapid and wide-reaching demand for higher education requires, where appropriate, all policies concerning access to higher education to give priority in the future to the approach based on the merit of the individual, as defined in Article 3 (a) above.

  4. Access to higher education for members of some special target groups, such as indigenous peoples, cultural and linguistics minorities, disadvantaged groups, peoples, cultural and linguistic minorities, disadvantaged groups, peoples living under occupation, and those who suffer from disabilities, must be actively facilitated, since these groups as collectivities and as individuals may have both experience and talent that can be of great value for the development of societies and nations. Special material help and educational solutions can help overcome the obstacles that these grips face, both in accessing and in continuing higher education.

See the entire World Conference on Higher Education Framework of Action