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Three dimensions of equity of access to higher education

McCowan, T; (2015) Three dimensions of equity of access to higher education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education , 46 (4) pp. 645-665. 10.1080/03057925.2015.1043237. Green open access

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Abstract

Concerns over equity of access to higher education are widespread, but there is significant disagreement over what should constitute a fair system. This article assesses diverse conceptualisations of equity and explores the ways in which they embody themselves in the policies of three systems, those of England, Brazil and Kenya. While showing significant disparities of income level and enrolment ratio, all three have made concerted efforts to expand higher education access, accompanied by increasing stratification in terms of the quality and prestige of institutions. Analysis of policy options and outcomes leads to a proposal of three principles for understanding equity of access: availability, accessibility and horizontality. The third of these principles addresses the little-acknowledged safeguard that disadvantaged students should not be confined to lower-quality institutions, while at the same time allowing for diversity of ethos and disciplinary focus.

Type: Article
Title: Three dimensions of equity of access to higher education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2015.1043237
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2015.1043237
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 British Association for International and Comparative Education. All rights reserved. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education on 02-07-15, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057925.2015.1043237
Keywords: Access to higher education, equity, higher education policy, widening participation, university admissions
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501901
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