Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Isaie Dougnon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D.


Access to quality education—the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal—is one of the challenges that many countries around the globe have confronted. The types of policies governments choose to implement to address the issue, however, have begun to shift as globalization has intensified. Students, in turn, have responded to various changes in policy by creating movements that push for or against these policies. This thesis thus aims to describe the causal relationship between those policy shifts and student reactions by comparing educational policies in France and Colombia and student protest movements in both countries. The main factors analyzed include: 1.) accessibility patterns and different aspects of the issue of accessibility to education over the past century; 2.) the types of policies the Colombian and French governments have implemented and what issues they address, with a focus on the shift toward Americanization; 3.) student protest movements, their objectives, their outcomes, and their impact; 4.) the ideological roots of the division between students and their governments; and 5.) what government response to student activism looks like and what it implies for the relationship between students and their governments. This thesis has found that the most important factor in the relationship between educational policy and student protests is globalization itself, which plays an important role in determining the types of policies governments implement that students fight, and why each party takes the stand that it does.