22 SES 13 B, Access to Higher Education: Contemporary challenges across different countries
Large parts of the book that underpins this symposium rightly focus on the challenge of different groups in society accessing any form of higher education at different rates and the causes for such differences: there is a strong focus on the persistent link between social origin and attainment in education and differential transition rates and the social, economic, and cultural causes underlying it. In contrast, this presentation only looks at admission to one of the internationally most highly ranked US and UK universities where applications by far outstrip the supply of available places. This group includes universities like Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, Edinburgh and University College London. The challenge of admission here is not so much that students who are not admitted to one of these institutions will fail to gain any place for study in higher education. To be roughly in the ballpark to even apply to these universities, applicants generally have an attainment record that makes them eligible for admission at a wide range of institutions. Instead, admission and access to elite institutions raises the question of what type of higher education different social groups can access and also of whether and how these universities select new undergraduates in a social context of inequality. The presentation introduces and describes the idea of Holistic and Contextual Admissions (HaCA), why it is used, who benefits and then discusses criticisms and limitations of HaCA. It concludes that HaCA can enhance enrolment in highly selective higher education for disadvantaged groups. To realise its full potential, however, HaCA needs to be part of an integrated approach that encompasses support and outreach prior to higher education and continues throughout students’ progression within higher education into further study and employment. In using HaCA, it seems prudent for policy makers and practitioners to bear in mind the context that gives rise to the need for HaCA in the first place and to keep a focus on the meta-stories of social inequalities while making useful practical changes to make elite admissions more accessible to a wider range of applicants. The workis based on a wider exploration of admissions issues in England and the US (Mountford Zimdars 2016) and a UK national report on contextual admissions (Moore et al. 2013).
Moore, J, Mountford-Zimdars, A and Wiggans, J (2013) Contextualised admissions: examining the evidence Report of research into the evidence base for the use of contextual information and data in admissions of UK students to undergraduate courses in the UK, Report to Supporting Professionalism in Admissions August 2013 Mountford-Zimdars (2016) Meritocracy and the University: selective admission in England and the U.S.. London: Bloombsury.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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