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Changing transitions to a differentiated higher education system: 1996-2010 Linda Croxford and David Raffe CES, University of Edinburgh www.ces.ed.ac.uk. Context 1: Higher Education in the “United Kingdom” (UK) 1996-2010.

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Changing transitions to a differentiated higher education system: 1996-2010

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Changing transitions to a differentiated higher education system 1996 2010

Changing transitions to a differentiated higher education system:1996-2010

Linda Croxford and David Raffe

CES, University of Edinburgh

www.ces.ed.ac.uk


Context 1 higher education in the united kingdom uk 1996 2010

Context 1: Higher Education in the “United Kingdom” (UK) 1996-2010

  • Expansion in number of places, from “elite” system to “mass” system (33% in 1996) -> aim of 50% by 2010

  • Widening participation: aim to increase participation in HE by disadvantaged groups – including low social class, ethnic minority & older students.

  • Differentiation – effects of marketisation? Or continuing hierarchies?


Context 2 debates on the effects of expansion

Context 2. Debates on the effects of expansion

  • Reduced inequality through increasing opportunities for HE entry? (eg Shavit, Arum, & Gamoran 2007)

  • ‘Effectively maintained inequality’ (Lucas 2001)

  • Increasing institutional differentiation – focus on ‘who goes where?’ (eg Reay, David & Ball 2006)

  • Institutional diversification? (Huisman, Meek & Wood (2007)


Questions

Questions

  • As HE expanded, have working class/ethnic minorities increased their representation?

  • Are they concentrated in particular institutions, and is this changing?

  • Have traditional institutional hierarchies weakened?

  • Are other dimensions of institutional diversity shown by the characteristics of entrants?


Data from universities colleges admissions service ucas

Data from Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

  • UCAS handles all applications to HE institutions in the UK for FT undergraduate courses

  • 6 cohorts -1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008,2010

  • This paper is limited to UK domiciled students applying to or entering HEIs

  • Information on ethnic minorities is limited to standard categories

  • Prior qualifications & social class are limited to under-21 age group


Expansion percentage increase in numbers of entrants 1996 2010

Expansion: Percentage increase in numbers of entrants 1996-2010


Are minorities concentrated in particular institutions

Are minorities concentrated in particular institutions?

Measured by Index of Dissimilarity (Segregation)

  • Index of Dissimilarity (D) shows whether a minority group is evenly (or unevenly) spread across institutions

  • D is high if minority students are clustered in particular institutions, and low if they are evenly distributed across institutions.

    D=0.5*∑(|Ai/A-Bi/B|)

    Where:

    Ai is the number of minority-group entrants in institution i

    Bi is the number of majority-group entrants in institution i

    A is the total number of minority-group entrants in all institutions

    B is the total number of majority-group entrants in all institutions


Traditional institutional hierarchies

Traditional institutional hierarchies

England

  • Russell Group (Research focused)

  • Other pre-1992

  • Post-1992

    Scotland

  • Ancient (pre-1600)

  • Old (pre-1992)

  • New (post-1992)

    Both are (partly) historically based – because resistant to change?

    Have these hierarchies weakened (perhaps superceded by other hierarchies) since the 1990s?


What are the main dimensions of institutional diversity

What are the main dimensions of institutional diversity?

Principal components analysis based on characteristics of entrants per institution and subject -suggests five main components:

  • Social status & prior qualifications (22%)

  • Black & ethnic minorities (17%)

  • Asian minorities/ not disabled (8%)

  • Male, non-UK domiciled, Chinese (8%)

  • New EU countries (6%)


Distribution of component scores

Distribution of component scores


Questions and answers

Questions – and Answers

  • As HE expanded, have working class/ethnic minorities increased their representation? – Social class – no, ethnic minorities -yes

  • Are they concentrated in particular institutions, and is this changing? – Social class –no, ethnic minorities yes but reducing

  • Have traditional institutional hierarchies weakened? - No

  • Are other dimenisons of institutional diversity shown by the characteristics of entrants? – Yes, differentiation by social class, ethnicity, gender and domicile


Changing transitions to a differentiated higher education system 1996 2010

SOME ISSUES FOR DEBATE

1. Why are institutional hierarchies so stable?

2. Are they challenged by markets?

3. Should socially-stratified institutions be welcomed as means of ‘inclusion’ or resisted as means of ‘diversion’?

4. Are processes of differentiation by class and ethnicity comparable?


Current papers from this research

Current papers from this research

Published

Croxford, L. and Raffe, D. (2011) Applicants and entrants through UCAS to the UK’s differentiated full-time HE system 1996-2010. Working Paper 1. http://www.ces.ed.ac.uk/research/DIFFHE/index.htm

Croxford, L. and Raffe, D. (2011) The social, demographic and educational characteristics of applicants and entrants to full-time HE in the UK 1996-2010. Working Paper 2. http://www.ces.ed.ac.uk/research/DIFFHE/index.htm

In press

Croxford, L. and Raffe, D. Differentiation and social segregation of UK higher education, 1996-2010. Oxford Review of Education.

Raffe, D. Was devolution the beginning of the end of the UK higher education system? Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education.

In draft

Raffe, D. and Croxford, L. One system or four? Cross-border applications and entries to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK since devolution.

Raffe, D. and Croxford, L. How stable is the stratification of Higher Education in England and Scotland?

Croxford, L. and Raffe, D. Social class, ethnicity and access to higher education in the four countries of the UK: 1996-2010

Croxford, L. and Raffe, D. Dimensions of the UK HE System


References

References

  • Huisman, J., Meek, L. and Wood, F. (2007) Institutional diversity in higher education: a cross-national and longitudinal analysis, Higher Education Quarterly, 61 (4) 563-577

  • Lucas, S. (2001) Effectively maintained inequality: educational transitions, track mobility and social background effects, American Journal of Sociology, 106, pp.1642-1690.

  • Reay, D., David, M.E. and Ball, S. (2005) Degrees of Choice: social class, race and gender in higher education (Stoke on Trent, Trentham Books).

  • Shavit, Y., Arum, R. and Gamoran, A. (2007) Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study (Stanford: Stanford University Press).


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