Overcoming the Barriers to Higher Education

October 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    31st October 2007
  • ISBN 9781858564142
  • Language English
  • Pages 166 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"
  • Images tables, figures & graphs

There are serious inequalities in participation in post-compulsory education and training related to socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity and other characteristics. Such inequalities are reproduced and exacerbated in higher education. This book is based on a review of research evidence that asks whether these social and familial patterns can be interrupted via educational and other interventions.

The answer lies in taking a radically new lifelong approach, considering changes over time and examining earlier life factors that influence participation–such as family, peer group and initial education, all of which help to build the learning trajectory of individuals that leads them to consider higher education. The impressive results make this book essential reading for practitioners and policy-makers concerned with widening participation, and for academics.

What others have said about this review of evidence:

“HEFCE should take the Gorard report seriously. It confirms the fact that we know some very simple things securely, especially about the sources of educational inequality in other forms of inequality.”

- Sir David Watson

“Universities would need to scrap entry requirements to make any real headway in admitting students from a broader range of backgrounds, according to a highly controversial report commissioned by funding chiefs.”

- Times Higher Educational Supplement

“[W]elcome and timely criticism for much that is passed off as research in this area. ….a useful text for anyone with an interest in exploring the issues surrounding widening participation in Higher Education.”

- Educational Research and Evaluation

"Essential reading for all policy-makers, planners and academics interested in researching educational inequality in the developed and developing world."

- British Journal of Educational Technology

List of Tables; Abbreviations; Preface; INTRODUCTION: 1) Higher Education and the Problem of Access; 2) Assessing the Patterns of Inequality in Higher Education; ESTABLISHING THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM: 3) Which Students are Missing from HE? 4) Reviewing the Evidence Base on Widening Participation; LEADING UP TO HE: 5) Barriers to Participation in Education; 6) A Life-Course Approach: Early Life and Schooling; EXPERIENCING HE: 7) The Transition to Higher Education; 8) Experiencing Higher Education; CONCLUSION: 9) Graduation and Beyond; 10: Overcoming the Barriers to Participation; References, Index.

Stephen Gorard

Stephen Gorard holds the Anniversary Chair in Education at the University of York, and is the author of numerous books concerning education and social justice.

Nick Adnett

Nick Adnett

Helen May

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Kim Slack

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Emma Smith

Emma Smith

Liz Thomas

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