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Socio-economic inequaliites in access to Higher Education in England

Anders, JD; (2015) Socio-economic inequaliites in access to Higher Education in England. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis analyses inequalities in access to Higher Education (HE) in England. In particular, it provides new evidence about this issue in three major ways. First, it estimates the family income gradient in university participation overall, and at a group of high status institutions. It also analyses the income gradient in university applications. While there are substantial income gradients in university attendance, and attendance at high status institutions, most of these differences are driven by application decisions, particularly once we control for ‘ability’ at age 11. This suggests that universities do not discriminate against students from poorer backgrounds; such students are less likely to apply. Second, it assesses the role of socio-economic status in explaining changes in university expectations across the teenage years. It analyses transitions in young people’s expectations from being ‘likely to apply’ to being ‘unlikely to apply’ and vice versa, using dura on modelling techniques. Young people’s socio-economic background has a significant association with changes in expectations, even controlling for prior academic attainment and other potential confounding factors. This suggests more could usefully be done to maintain the educational expectations of academically able young people from less advantaged families. Finally, it looks at the impact of aptitude tests as a screening device for entry to elite universities by looking at the effect on the proportion of successful applicants by school type (state versus private) and gender. The es mates are obtained by applying a difference in differences approach to administrative data from the University of Oxford. Although introducing the test increased the proportion of interviewees getting an offer overall, this is not the case for women. Nevertheless, the policy has no apparent effect on the overall chances of applicants being offered a place by school type or gender.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Socio-economic inequaliites in access to Higher Education in England
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1528662
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