Is Free University Education for All a Right or a Privilege?

Is free university education for all a right or a privilege?

In this essay I will look to understand both arguments for and against university education being a right or a privilege.   A right is something that all people in the country have. Whereas a privilege is only for certain people usually people with a lot of money.

What’s wrong with saying that higher education should be a right then? Isn’t that something everyone would agree on? Well actually, not one of the UK’s main political parties does. Even Labour, who are opposing the tuition fee hike, are not suggesting that education is something that everyone should be entitled to without incurring any cost. They want students to pay a graduate tax instead, and pay for their university experience in that way. So there’s no major political party saying that higher education should be a right and therefore freely available with no personal costs.

On the other hand, many agree education is a privilege. They argue some people don't want to get an education and they would waste valid places on courses, and university should be a privilege for the students who work hard and get the grades to get into uni not to students who fail but still get into a uni as it is a ‘right’. Also most children can't afford an education. So therefore education is considered a privilege for those who can't afford an education.

Many people think all people have a right to an education, but many throw it away. George Washington stated that in order for a democracy to work it needed an educated population and he stressed that education should be available for all. One of the better things about the United States is that there has been an affordable education for all people, so it is seen as more of a right.
If we’re saying that Education is a right in the context of higher education we are saying that university education is something that people are universally entitled to regardless of their circumstances. Evidently, this...