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Vouchers are state-funded coupons or grants that give parents the purchasing power to choose an eligible private or public school for their child.

Voucher schemes offer an alternative means of the public sector engaging with the private sector, whereby a student’s parents receive a government-funded tuition coupon redeemable at eligible private and public schools of their own choice.

School vouchers are state-funded coupons or grants that give parents the purchasing power to choose an eligible private or public school for their child. The three core features of a voucher program are:/p>

  • The funding formula which sets a certain amount for the voucher per student
  • Enrolment (based on family choice rather than location)
  • Ability for individual schools to be responsible for managing and allocation government funding

Voucher programs can vary over several dimensions, such as family eligibility (all families are eligible, or only some, e.g poorer families), school eligibility (schools can charge a top-up or not, compensatory funding, capital funding), places are allocated using a lottery to avoid schools cream-skimming the best students when faced with over subscription. 

Source: Aslam, M., Rawal, S., & Sahar, S. (2017). Public-Private Partnerships in Education in Developing Countries: A Rigorous Review of the Evidence. Ark Education Partnerships Group.

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