The impact of the changing English higher education marketplace on widening participation and fair access : evidence from a discourse analysis of access agreements

MCCAIG, Colin (2015). The impact of the changing English higher education marketplace on widening participation and fair access : evidence from a discourse analysis of access agreements. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 17 (1), 5-22.

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Link to published version:: 10.5456/WPLL.17.1.5

Abstract

This article uses a discourse analysis of access policy statements to trace the impact of differentiation and marketisation among English HE institutions that was evident before but accelerated by recent policy developments, including the increase in tuition fees. A result of this has been a shift in institutions' policy discourses that indicate less propitious circumstances for widening participation, particularly among post-1992 institutions which are now expected to improve retention and employability outcomes. Pre-1992 institutions including members of the Russell Group of selective, research intensive universities have been encouraged by policy changes to differentiate further by concentrating their outreach only on the 'brightest' of applicants from poorer backgrounds. The article concludes that widening participation of the traditional 'raising aspirations' kind becomes a much more difficult project for post-1992 institutions and correspondingly a more difficult basis for a future business model.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: 10.5456/WPLL.17.1.5
Depositing User: Colin Mccaig
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 11:43
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2015 08:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9637

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