In my utopian country, university education is based on several factors. For example in the university, the following observations are taken into consideration:
- Entrance requirement and Access to university
- Funding/Finances. E.g. the need of 3 guarantors to make one eligible for a loan( Must be preferably a close relation)
- The influence of social classes
Utopian Vision: To contribute to a positive learning environment via the aim to motivate, educate, train and equip students to be competent in their field of study within 2030. My utopian university is the only prestige university in the area and has a good reputation with record of producing intelligent graduates who in turn use their competence for the good of the city and nation as a whole. The main aim of the university and by large all tertiary institutions in this city is to produce highly educated, qualified and competent workers who will contribute in creating an educated nation to boost economic growth. As a tertiary institution, the university receives funding from the government and other international organizations. The procedure for admission therefore to the university is that one must have passed the national examinations from senior high school with a total aggregate not exceeding 24. The student in addition is required to pass the three main core subjects namely Mathematics, Science and English in order to gain admission. Entry forms for the university are purchased by students who make their selections based on the course they intend to pursue. Students who fulfill the requirements are then offered admission to the university to pursue the program of their choice. Moreover, the university makes every effort to provide financial aid to qualified applicants especially those with limited finances. It is therefore required that students need three guarantors to make them eligible for a loan. These three guarantors must be tax payers as they will be required to pay back should the student fail to pay back the loan after completion of study. Most of the time, the guarantors are close family members or people who trust the students and have confidence in their ability to complete their study and eventually pay back the loan. The idea of a university for the people in the utopian country is beneficial and a good one. However, it comes with certain disadvantages. Firstly, the strict admission process to the universities is not only because of the need to have the right students enroll, but also because of the lack of universities in the city that makes the number of students seeking admission more than necessary. Most Senior high school graduates desire a university with a good reputation. Therefore there are usually many applications for university admissions. The university as one of the few universities available and considered prestige, does not have the capacity to admit all students who apply there thus the use of strict admission process in order to cut down the enrollment numbers. Again, there is the issue is huge inequalities when it comes to wealth distribution. There is a clear gap between the rich and poor, high and low social classes etc. This inequality has given the rich and people of high social class both influence and an upper hand in situations where they could use their social capital to their advantage. For example, there are reported cases where students who do not meet the admission qualifications and requirements simply buy their way to the university by paying a fee. This practice is not encouraged however it is practiced by students who want to a place in the university. What happens for instance is that people who know staff of the university, simply get in touch with them and for an amount of money, they are offered a place in the course of their choice. The problem therefore, as stated earlier, is that those who have the right qualification lose their place for those who had the money to purchase it without the right qualification. As much as this is highly forbidden, there are people who still indulge themselves in it. One other thing that happens is that when students don’t have the right qualifications for the course they intend to pursue, some of them go for courses that are not by choice but just to enter the university and attain a degree. An identifiable disadvantage is that when it comes to the funding of students, there is often that group of people who struggle to find guarantors who can stand in for them to get a student loan. When students do not have family members or close relations to guarantee for them, they either fund themselves by unpleasant means, especially the girls, by engaging in indecent activities such as prostitution. Although the university has both advantages and disadvantages, the latter affects several parts of the society especially the young generation who graduate from senior high schools. There will be little or no motivation to pursue a higher education if one finds him or herself through any of the points above. For this reason, the utopian country by 2030, has a vision to motivate, educate, train and equip students to be competent in their field of study by putting in place certain key measures. Firstly, in addition to university , several other universities will be built in order to reduce the pressure on the utopian university. This way, students will have several options to choose from and as many as possible high school graduates will gain admission. This means that the university will be expected to be at its best in terms of infrastructure, staff, curriculum, learning environment etc. in order to create a conducive and attractive teaching and learning arena for both students and teachers. Secondly, the requirement for the grant of loan will be adjusted in order to make it possible for as many as possible to have funding during their education. The need for guarantors will be reduced to one, specifically to a guardian or parent and will not necessarily be one who is a tax payer. Instead, every student will be entitled to a loan without stringent conditions. Financial assistance plays a crucial role in sustaining student focus and enhancing their motivation. A scheme will be put in place to ensure that qualified but needy students receive funds for studies as a measure of removing inequalities. The admission process will also be digitalized and made more transparent in order to avoid the possibility for corruption and rather ensure fairness. This way, a qualified candidate, whether poor or rich, has an equal chance of being selected and admitted. As a way of balancing gender inequality, women applicants will be highly motivated to apply and given a significant quota of admission. This will hopefully inspire girl-child education and bridge the huge gap between male and female education and literacy in the region. These, among others, have the potential of positively impacting educational development in the country and will most likely propel growth in various sectors of the economy by the projected timeline, 2030.