Access agreements, widening participation and market positionality: enabling student choice?

MCCAIG, C. (2010). Access agreements, widening participation and market positionality: enabling student choice? In: MOLESWORTH, M., NIXON, E. and SCULLION, R., (eds.) The marketisation of higher education and the student as consumer. Routledge.

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This chapter presents an alternative view of marketised higher education form much of this volume: not only does it focus on how HEIs use marketing strategies to position themselves ethically in relation to competing HEIs of the same type; it also uses the concept of widening participation (WP) as a specific arena of institutions' marketing strategies and discusses the impact on student choice. It will locate evidence for increasing market positionality among HEIs within both marketing theory and in the historical development of widening participation policy in the English HE sector. More specifically this chapter will discuss how Office for Fair Access (OFFA) access agreements came to reflect the marketing positionality of institutions. It will present an analysis of bursary and additional support regimes and types of outreach activities that reveals a tendency for more prestigious and less prestigious institutions to engage in quite different forms of widening participation activity. It will conclude that, paradoxically, the increasingly sophisticated use of widening participation as an arena for market differentiation reduces rather than increases applicants' ability to make informed choices given the complexity of student support arrangements.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: chapter 10
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Depositing User: Ian Chesters
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2010 11:12
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 05:52

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