- UK policy
- Funding and regulatory bodies
- Fair Access? Research on admissions to higher education
Fair Access? Research on admissions to higher education15 April 2010
The notion of ‘fair access’ has its roots in liberal concerns to promote access to higher education to individuals from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds who are deemed to have high levels of potential and ability. In recent years, admissions policies and practice have become an explicit focus of national policy in the UK, underpinned by concerns to promote fair access to all students recognised as having the potential to benefit from HE. This seminar will present research on admissions practices in a range of fields to examine and critique current frameworks for admissions to higher education and access to the professions. Seminar participants will discuss the implications of the research in relation to the overarching aim to develop inclusive admissions practices for widening participation. The seminar includes presentations from:
Dr Rachel Davis is an independent HE Consultant with a particular interest in access to the professions. She is a trained anatomist specialising in the locomotor system. Rachel’s presentation draws on a VetNet LLN funded project where she is investigating the skills and experiences of school and FE students. In this presentation, Rachel will be setting out the challenges facing professional degree programmes in a rapidly changing (more equitable?) educational climate and asking the question "Where do we draw the line?”
Jean Dillon is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Middlesex University. A key aspect of her work involves widening participation. Her presentation discusses relevant social background factors, students’ education and career trajectories, some of the challenges and barriers experienced, and the key strengths of these students when attempting to navigate their way from further education to higher education BA Social Work programmes. Jean’s presentation concludes by emphasizing the importance of admissions policies that take into account the social, in addition to, the academic context of applicant achievement.
Professor Penny Jane Burke is Chair of Education at Roehampton University and the WP Network Leader for SRHE. Jackie McManus is Head of Widening Participation at the University of Arts London. Their presentation draws on research funded by the National Arts Learning Network, which examines the admissions practices for Art and Design courses. Their focus is on the ways complex exclusions and misrecognitions are unwittingly reproduced in the selection process.
Sunita Morris is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing and a University Teacher Fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University. Jacinta Elliott is a Director of Elliott Walker Consultancy, an independent research and development practice based in York. They will present their interim findings from an evaluation study of the impact of widening participation initiatives on recruitment and selection processes for health professional courses.
- Staff supporting researchers development
Policy makers and national stakeholders
- Society for Research into Higher Education
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