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University Alliance . Fairness, funding and access Professor Janet Beer April 2010. Policy and practical issues. The power of the dominant narrative Reframing the fair access debate Equality issues IAG – quality not quantity The future landscape including fees.

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university alliance

University Alliance

Fairness, funding and access

Professor Janet Beer

April 2010

policy and practical issues
Policy and practical issues
  • The power of the dominant narrative
  • Reframing the fair access debate
  • Equality issues
  • IAG – quality not quantity
  • The future landscape including fees
fair access the dominant narrative
Fair access:the dominant narrative
  • Sutton Trust ‘missing 3,000 - high achieving state school pupils that are ‘lost’ outside the ‘Sutton Trust 13’ universities
  • “Top universities failing to attract state school pupils”

The Times June 2009

  • "Whereas Harvard is all over Harlem, I simply don't see enough of Britain's top universities in Tottenham, and I'm sure the same is true in Toxteth or Peckham.”

David Lammy Oct 2008

  • “University places 'wasted' as access students drop out”

Telegraph Jan 2009

fair access approaches to admissions
Fair access:approaches to admissions
  • Flexible
  • Responsiveness
  • Personal
  • Consistency
  • Clarity
  • Reliability

Universal approach

(rules and systems)

Personalised approach

(individuals and relationships)

  • Bureaucratic
  • Rigid
  • Impersonal
  • Nepotism
  • Chaos
  • Unreliability
  • Inconsistent
what do we mean by fair
What do we mean by fair?

Equality of opportunity not outcome e.g. needs blind access

Access to good information, advice and guidance for all applicants

Context of prior educational attainment

what do we mean by access
What do we mean by access?

Access to what?

Course and learning environment with greatest chance of achieving ambitions, goals and access to career or graduate future

University experience which equips them for path they want access to

Employment ready graduates - leaving university with high quality work experience already on CV

Access issues for postgraduates

equality issues and the role of universities
Equality issues and the role of universities

Equality Act 2010

Some public bodies required to “pay due regard to the need to reduce inequalities of outcome that result from socio-economic disadvantage”

Does not apply to Higher Education

What is the role of universities?

Education a driver of social mobility

Focus on early attainment and aspiration (working in partnership with schools)

the missing link information advice and guidance
The missing link:information, advice and guidance

Focus on information

Bestcourse4me.com

Work of the Teaching Quality Information / National Student Survey Steering Group

HEFCE work on the information needs of prospective students

But, good advice and guidance also essential

Role of Government: DCSF IAG Strategy “IAG Guarantee”, focus on role of local government

Central AG possibilities limited? UCAS?

Role of Universities: working with schools

the impact of fees so far
The impact of fees:so far

No negative impact on full-time participation

But misunderstanding / myths are causing more of a barrier than the system itself

Attainment, not cost, remains the strongest determinant of participation (but upfront cost does matter)

False distinction between full-time and high-intensity part-time

High cost of student support has forced a cap on student numbers – possible impact on access

future landscape
Future landscape

Fees and student finance – Independent review

IAG requirements / standards of transparency

Moving beyond artificial full-time / part-time divide

Flexibility of provision and local access

Equality legislation

Postgraduate access

Private providers