Higher education for females is an indicator of development, democracy and gender equity, particularly necessary for a nation like Cameroon which attempts to become an emerging country by 2035. Hence, this paper is focused on ascertaining female aspirations to higher education for access and effective participation. In so doing, a study that employed a semi-structured questionnaire collected data from 977 female students about the level of schooling they aspired to attain, the underlying reasons for their choices and their prospected barriers. Simple percentages, chi-square analysis and logistic regression analysis showed that female student’ aspirations for higher education were high, challenging the roles of higher education institutions. However, these high aspirations were based on the expectations that higher education participation and completion would be beneficial to the overall development of females and their integration into the world of work. Nevertheless, these aspirations were also tempered by barriers, and to this effect it is recommended that higher education school curricula be reformed to suit the needs of these female aspirers. Equally, financial constraints could be curbed through scholarships and donations from ex-student associations and university systems. Irrespective of this, constant research in this area is necessary as aspirations are complex, dynamic and contextual.
Key words: Aspirations, higher education, females, barriers, access and effective participation.
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