Jelle Mampaey on inequality in Flemish higher education
Jelle’s views in De Standaard (October 5) on mechanisms underlying inequality suggest that universities build gaps between rhetoric and core organizational practices (decoupling). Universities claim to value equality between socially advantaged and disadvantaged students, but their core organizational practices of teaching and learning often reproduce inequality. Jelle identified several explanations for decoupling. For instance, universities often experience tensions in their environment in that they need to comply with demands for quality and equality, but these demands are often perceived as mutually exclusive. In Flanders, universities often prioritize quality. Also, universities often experience a lack of resources to implement practices that would reduce inequality. Jelle’s findings indicate that universities are important actors in the reproduction of inequality. Wouter Duyck and Pedro de Bruyckere responded to Jelle´s contribution.