Changing Inequalities and Access to a Differentiated HE System David Raffe and Linda Croxford University of Edinburgh Seminar at University of Edinburgh, 14 June 2013
Introduction and background to the project David Raffe and Linda Croxford University of Edinburgh Changing Inequalities and Access to a Differentiated HE System Seminar at University of Edinburgh, 14 June 2013
Research project: Changing Transitions to a Differentiated HE System CES project funded by Nuffield Foundation 2011-13 Objectives: to study (change in): • Social, demographic and educational characteristics of applicants and entrants to HE • Institutional differentiation • Home-country differences and cross-border flows … and to disseminate to inform policy and practice Addresses 3 debates (devolution, widening participation, institutional differentiation) in the context of expansion
Debate 1: Devolution and ‘home international’ comparisons ‘A process not an event’ • Administrative devolution, parliamentary devolution, extensions, independence referendum • Are policies diverging? • HE markets and tuition fees … • … but even these illustrate UK systems’ interdependence • Is the UK a ‘policy laboratory’? Could it become one? • Are divergent ‘administrative systems’ of HE reflected in divergent ‘social systems’ of HE?
Debate 2: Widening participation High profile in policy agendas – eg Post-16 Education Bill in Scotland • Is there divergence across the UK? • Is the picture different for the different inequalities: eg social class v ethnicity? • What are the effects of • Social and demographic change? • Expansion of HE (‘maximally maintained inequality’)? • Policy (markets, fees, etc)?
Debate 3: Institutional differentiation Focus of debates on institutional division of function, access to selective institutions, etc • Is the differentiation of HE in the UK mainly horizontal or vertical? • How stable are institutional hierarchies? • Do historically-based hierarchies (eg pre v post 1992) erode with time? • Are they challenged by markets? • How is differentiation linked to widening participation? • ‘Effectively maintained inequality’, ‘institutional habitus’ and class-matching, etc
Data: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) • Central UK HE admissions service – source of data on • Applicants and ‘entrants’ • Their educational, social, etc characteristics (limitations – eg change in class classifications, some data available only for under-21s) • Subjects and institutions (subject to ‘rule of three’) • 6 cohorts: applicants in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 • Restricted to full-time undergraduate programmes in HEIs (and sometimes to under 21s) • More home-country variation in part-time, college etc provision? • Colleges – affect differences but not trends?
Next … • Linda Croxford “Participation in full-time HE 1996-2010: a ‘home international’ perspective” Focuses on ‘home international’ and ‘widening participation’ debates … corresponds to CES Briefing 62 • David Raffe “How is HE differentiated in the UK? Is this changing?” Extends discussion to look at ‘institutional differentiation’ debate … corresponds to CES Briefing 61