This paper first sets out criteria to evaluate the inequality of opportunity in higher education. We propose a two-level classification, by distinguishing the categorial and the counterfactual approaches. For each approach, we consider dominance quasi-orderings and inequality measures. We then apply these criteria to the French higher education system, by comparing the situation in 1992 and 2004. Our main findings reveal that: (i) there is inequality of opportunity in each of the two years; (ii) even if we cannot say that the situation was unambiguously better in 1992, we can nevertheless state that the inequality of opportunity haven’t decreased significantly in the meantime.
Opportunities in higher education: an application to France
14 January 2014