22 SES 13 A, Barriers and Policies for Access to Higher Education In Belgium, England and France
Recent policies inspired by EU recommendations on lifelong learning and widening participation have encouraged all higher education institutions in France to organize open doors events (ODE) to provide more and better information about higher education opportunities to students, especially to working-class students. These ODEs are part of a more general trend towards the development by public and private actors of an institutional market for information and advice about higher education institutions, which also includes rankings, guides, journals, websites, and fairs. In this presentation, we will use data from observations and interviews that we have conducted at 7 ODEs organized by different types of higher education institutions in France as part of a research project on “Transition to higher education: institutions, markets and networks” directed by Agnès van Zanten. We will analyze these events as an institutional-market device simultaneously aiming to provide objective information, to create subjective impressions and to give objective and subjective feedback to visitors. We will compare the frameworks, discourses and activities provided by selective and non-selective institutions and how students and parents from different social-class backgrounds and with different academic profiles relate to them.
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