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Education PolicyEvidence of Equity and Effectiveness$
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Stephen Gorard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447342144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447342144.001.0001

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Widening participation to higher education

Widening participation to higher education

(p.147) Ten Widening participation to higher education
Education Policy

Stephen Gorard

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on widening participation to undergraduate higher education. It considers when in the ‘pipeline’ to higher education these socio-economic patterns first appear, when are they strongest, what causes them, and what can be done about them. The chapter then considers how this stratification can be overcome by using contextualised admissions (CA), as is ongoing policy in the United Kingdom at the time of writing. Contextualised admissions entails the use by universities of contextual data about prospective students' socio-economic and educational circumstances to inform admission decision-making, usually by reducing the grade requirements for entry where it is clear that an applicant comes from a disadvantaged family, neighbourhood, or school environment. CA policies are therefore a kind of positive discrimination within the current set-up.

Keywords:   undergraduate higher education, socio-economic patterns, contextualised admissions, CA policies, contextual data, admission decision-making, positive discrimination

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