22 SES 10 D, Student Movement and Migration
The process of applications to higher education (HE) undergraduate courses in the UK is now paperless. This technological move has enhanced this process twofold. Firstly, it supports an identical screening of each application. Secondly, each institution’s admission portal connected to the national system systematically highlights any non-traditional application according to each institution’s criteria.
Our paper explains how a further use of technology that synthetises secondary school data can support an institution’s policy to widen access and participation from students beyond its traditional catchment areas, in particular those living in remote areas.
Recent research has highlighted that students from Scottish rural communities are less likely to progress to HE than students from elsewhere and the majority of these students do not live in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland. In the Scottish context regarding widening access to university, this could be problematic. Indeed, the aim of the current policy of the Scottish government is to reach at least 20% of university entrants to come from the most deprived 20% of the population. As a result, although Scotland is rural at 75% and the progression to HE of these students is lower than the national average, many of them are not included in this current policy.
Our paper explains how this exclusion could be prevented at institutional level thanks to a further use of technology. It describes how to integrate publicly secondary school data into the screening process of an institution’s admission portal while maintining equitable treatment of all applicants to the institution’s courses.
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