عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Inequality in all forms and levels can have adverse consequences. The study of regional inequality is one of the essential and fundamental steps for planning and reform to provide economic growth along with social justice which could affect the allocation of resources with the aim of eliminating regional inequalities. Educational inequalities are now one of the most important categories in the field of inequality. Education and its indicators, as one of the most important components of development, have a crucial role in the process of comprehensive development by playing their fundamental and decisive role and providing the necessary conditions for the development of societies. Undoubtedly, the educational system plays an essential role in the training of human resources and community development, and effective human resources will be available through equal educational opportunities. The goal of equal opportunities is to prevent, eliminate or reduce discrimination between individuals in terms of gender, geographical, race, physical status, age, language, social class and etc. Wherever educational inequalities reach their maximum, development track will be reduced. Educational justice is achieved when students have equal opportunities to access education. Equal access to higher education is a very significant subject with direct implications for educational policies, the development of the labor market and quality of life. Providing equal conditions for access to educational opportunities is important in many ways, especially in terms of political, social and economic issues. Equal access to education is one of the fundamental rights of all. Equality of educational opportunities is realized when all people are equal to education. This goal has been accepted internationally today, but it has not been fully realized. Although achieving this goal is difficult and long, but it is essential to search for a more just and better world to live in. The purpose of this study was to explaining of geographical Inequality of higher education access opportunities in townships of west Azarbaijan province. Given the issues raised, the importance of equal opportunities for access to education has become more and more clear. It should be noted that educational planning requires the recognition of the current situation and the establishment of a desirable situation. Since educational indicators play a crucial role in the process of comprehensive development and provide the necessary conditions for the development of societies, the purpose of this study was to study the status of the cities of West Azarbaijan province in terms of equality of access to higher education opportunities and identify the causes and factors of inequality of access to higher education opportunities and finally provide a model, solutions and suggestions for improving the accessibility of different regions of the province.
Methodology: The present research is an applied research in terms of purpose. In terms of collecting information, it is descriptive-analytic and carried out in a documentary and questionnaire manner. The statistical society is the townships of West Azerbaijan province. West Azarbaijan is one of 31 provinces of Iran and its center is Urmia. West Azarbaijan province has 17 cities and according to the census in 2016 its population is 3265219 people. The sampling method was census. In collecting statistics and information used of questionnaire and national university entrance exam statistic (2016), education statistic (2016), recent census of population and housing (2016), Statistical Yearbook(2015) of west Azarbaijan province. Excel, GIS and SPSS software’s has been used for computing. Topsis models, dispersion coefficient, path analysis and neural networks were used for data analysis. By reviewing theoretical foundations and summing up the results of research on inequality of access to education, four categories of indicators) individual-family, educational, geographical development and reception system (were developed in this study that in order to study of inequality of access to higher education.
Results and discussion: Ranking results of districts by using topsis technique shows that there is an inequality between townships of the province in Access opportunities to higher education, Urmia and Chalderan are the richest and the most deprived educational districts of west Azerbaijan respectively. The dispersion coefficient used for measuring the inequality, indicates that the highest inequality 0.75 was for the educational indices and the lowest with 0.46 was for the individual-family background indices. Based on the results of path analysis, educational indices have the highest and geographical development indices have the lowest impact on the inequality of higher education access opportunities. Neural network analysis shows that educational indices and geographical development indices respectively, had the most and the least importance in prognosis inequality of higher education access opportunities among townships of west Azarbaijan province.
Conclusion: The results indicate the need of areas that have less access to higher education, the planning and special attention of policy makers in this area to these inequalities. Access to higher education should be facilitated for people and areas where their achievement in higher education has been hampered by obstacles; because they may have the experience and skills that are valuable in national and social development of the country. Also, inequalities have a profound impact on the achievements of people's occupations and the development of regions. Therefore, as a society wants to move towards comprehensive development, it is inevitable to reduce the inequality of educational opportunities among individuals and regions. To reduce geographical inequalities of access to higher education opportunities based on research findings, following suggestions are presented: Provide more educational facilities to deprived areas, eliminating the barriers to development in deprived areas and trying to raise their level of development, establishing an educational system based on justice and eliminating educational and school inequalities, Creating a justice-centered admissions system in higher education, avoid of classification of education, reducing social gap at the community level, allocating quotas for poor areas and improving the quality of school education in deprived areas.
Keywords: Geographical Inequality, Educational Inequality, Access Opportunities, Higher Education, Townships of West Azarbaijan Province