Access to higher education should be a natural-born human right. At the University of the People, our founding is based on this principle — and it’s also what is at the heart of World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED).
Without access to higher education, people suffer from more inequality and experience immobility in their socioeconomic status. To help fight against this inequality and broaden access to education, we are proud to be a supporter of World Access to Higher Education Day.
Here’s everything you should know about this important day as we near its celebration!
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What is World Access to Higher Education Day?
World Access to Higher Education Day is a platform that began in 2018 with a mission to raise awareness and address educational inequality around the globe. In the two years it has existed, the platform has achieved positive results and is on its way to becoming an annual event each year in November.
UNESCO has shared support of the day and has made access to higher education one of its Global Goals for 2030. To ensure this goal is met, World Access to Higher Education Day represents:
- A positive agent of change for local, regional, and global action
- A platform to develop access and create a network
- An advocate for higher education with policymakers and government officials
2020: COVID-19 Response and Plan
Given the coronavirus pandemic, World Access to Higher Education Day will not have in-person events or conferences this year. In fact, there isn’t actually an official day this year because “the uncertain situation makes it almost impossible for us, and partners around the world, to be able to plan events.” But that doesn’t mean it’s totally canceled.
Coronavirus is having a disproportionately negative effect on education for communities that need it the most. For this reason, there is intention to run a social campaign to further raise awareness in November 2020.
Furthermore, you can get involved by filling out this survey about how COVID-19 is affecting education. People from over thirty countries have already responded. This survey takes just about 15 minutes to complete and can offer important insight into helping students around the world.
What is the Goal of WAHED?
WAHED has already garnered support from over 100 organizations that span more than thirty countries.
All of these supporters stand in line to support achieving several goals that ensure access to higher education, including:
- Financial Support: The platform stresses the need for financial support for low-income students to support their education. However, financial support is not the only need.
- Innovative Solutions: Equitable education also relies on innovative measures to provide it. For example, online education was a massive revolution that now provides education to people around the world who were once constrained by physical and geographic barriers.
- Government Aid: It will take organizations and the government to pledge assistance to make equitable education a widespread right and possibility.
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What Has WAHED Achieved So Far?
Even though WAHED has only been in existence since 2018, there are a lot of successes to count in 2018 and 2019.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights since its inception:
- 75 events held in 22 countries
- Over 9,100 participants have been involved
- Over 100 institutional partners have registered with the movement
- Published a research paper titled “All Around the World” which analyses higher education politics in 70 countries.
Who Leads WAHED?
WAHED was started by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) in the United Kingdom. Although it was started in the U.K., individual events take place around the world and are led by different hosts to create a global event.
Educational institutions around the world also support the cause. University of the People is a proud sponsor!
UoPeople Stands for Education
It’s a no brainer as to why we are involved in such a brilliant global movement. At the very core of our institution’s existence is the belief that higher education should be accessible and affordable to everyone.
University of the People offers degree-granting programs in Health Science, Education, Computer Science, and Business Administration. Students from all over the world can enroll in the tuition-free programs and earn accredited degrees that will take them far in life. Our goal is that no student will be left behind!
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The Wrap Up
World Access to Education Day is an important platform that is working to be a part of a movement for equality and access to higher education. With its beginnings in 2018, each subsequent year has witnessed growth and exciting results, and we are sure that the upwards trajectory will continue.
It will take innovators, educators, supporters, and policymakers to continue to work towards the goal of equal access to education globally. At the University of the People, we’ll continue to run an educational institution that practices education equality every day and supports platforms like WAHED.