One way of responding to the question of whether we should give some people access to free tertiary education is to start from a consideration of people�s rights. In the interests of bringing another perspective to bear on this question, we could approach it from the starting point of the State�s responsibilities. This paper addresses the following question: does the State�s general responsibility to provide education to support societal needs extend to providing any free education opportunities for adults? I start from the assumption that a democratic State has a responsibility for managing and encouraging the democracy of the society; the security of the society; the physical welfare of the society; and the cultural riches of the society. I suggest this assumption supports a claim of the State�s responsibilities to provide certain free education opportunities for children, then consider whether it suggests a responsibility to provide any free tertiary education opportunities for adults. I will argue that it does for some types of opportunities, including education for political awareness, and offer an example to indicate how the State could do this.
Scholes, V. (2007). A state responsibility to provide some free tertiary education for adults? In Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference 2007, Wellington, New Zealand.