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Deserving Poor: Are Higher Education Bursaries Going to the Right Students?

Wyness, G; (2016) Deserving Poor: Are Higher Education Bursaries Going to the Right Students? Education Sciences , 6 (1) , Article 5. 10.3390/educsci6010005. Green open access

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Abstract

After the abolition of student maintenance grants in 2016, higher education bursaries will be the major source of non-repayable aid for poor students in England, with £300 m spent per year. The aims of the bursary system were never explicitly laid out by government, making it challenging to evaluate this unique form of aid. In this paper, I examine the bursary system on the grounds of equity and efficiency, using a unique dataset collected from 22 universities. I show that the bursary system is inequitable; as a direct consequence of the decentralized nature of the system, there are vast inequalities in aid receipt among poor students. Nevertheless, I find that the poorest, most able students tend to receive the most bursary aid, suggesting the system could be seen as efficient. Clearer guidance from government on the purpose of bursaries is required in order to understand whether the system is meeting its aims, and how it could be improved.

Type: Article
Title: Deserving Poor: Are Higher Education Bursaries Going to the Right Students?
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/educsci6010005
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/educsci6010005
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: widening participation, higher education, higher education funding policies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475194
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