Open to all, accessible by few: Access barriers to Higher Education (HE) in Nigeria and the role of parental perceptions of HE

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Education


The higher education participation rate in Nigeria is particularly low at 8% (Aluede et al., 2012) compared to the world HE enrolment rate of 30% (McCowan, 2014). There is clear evidence in the literature that HE attendance is positively linked to economic growth and development and societal transformation and this is especially the case in developing country contexts (Oketch et al, 2014). Despite this, the key challenge of equality of access to HE in countries like Nigeria persists (McCowan, 2014). This is an area of considerable interest in Nigeria and other Sub Saharan African (SSA) countries, but the current research evidence in all these countries is weak and insufficient for guiding policy (McCowan, 2014 and Oketch et al, 2014). Furthermore, as Nigeria and other SSA countries gear towards the actualisation of universal basic education, demand for HE is only likely to increase in a context of already limited supply.
The issues surrounding inequality of access to HE and its implications for social justice and exclusion cannot be ignored, as education has been identified as a leveller and the key item in
the social mobility tool kit (McMahon, 2009). Parental perceptions of education also play a vital role in access to HE. The success or failure of many government initiatives rely on recipients' perceptions; however little is known as to parental perceptions of HE in Nigeria (Weir, 2011). This research will contribute to and extend this limited existing body of work by exploring and examining the means by which barriers at different levels affect access to higher education and the role parental perception of education plays in access to HE.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2398502 Studentship ES/P000630/1 21/09/2020 30/09/2023 Bridget Azubuike