Institutions could use social financing to support participation equity in higher ed: Opinion

In a recent article for The Conversation, Shelley Legin (Royal Roads University) and Heather M Hachigian (RRU) discuss how “social financing” could help under-represented students pursue higher education. Legin and Hachigian write that social financing—which involves using private money to finance programs that create positive social or environmental impacts—provides an alternative approach to the current funding model, which they argue is failing under-represented learners. Funders are often motivated by the financial returns and broader social benefits of social funding models to help partner organizations such as universities achieve their desired outcomes. Legin identifies two key barriers to implementing social finance in higher education: a lack of familiarity with social finance and limited pressure to explore innovative financing approaches.