The factors contributing to educational opportunity inequality can be divided into five dimensions: economic, societal, geographical/regional, biological, and political. This inequality not only restricts individuals' access to basic educational rights but also hinders other fundamental rights throughout their lives. Prioritizing educational opportunity equality, improving the quality of education, and narrowing performance gaps between regions and school types are crucial for the broader population. Variability in school quality can lead to disparities among students. Student performance differentials often arise from family structures and socio-economic conditions). Furthermore, these performance differences can be directly linked to the unique pedagogical approaches and educational strategies a school adopts. Consequently, choosing schools that uphold high pedagogical standards can profoundly influence student success in a favorable manner. This research aimed to investigate the variation in student distribution across faculties and fields in higher education based on social class criteria. The study employed a survey research method. The sample comprised 1,052 students from various departments/programs at Kırşehir Ahi Evran University during the spring term of the 2022-2023 academic year. Data were collected online using the “Determinants of Higher Education Access Survey” developed by Bülbül (2021) and a “Demographic Information Form” designed by the researcher. The SPSS 27 software and the Chi-Square test were used to determine if the students' characteristics and opinions varied by faculty/field of study. The findings suggest that factors such as parents' educational level, professions, family income, the type and quality of high school attended, high school guidance, and resources available during university preparation (e.g., tutoring and private lessons) significantly influence students' distribution across faculties and fields in higher education.
Equality of opportunity, access to higher education, higher education