Evaluating Equity and Widening Participation in Higher Education

June 2018
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    21st June 2018
  • ISBN 9781858567037
  • Language English
  • Pages 190 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.2"
  • Images tables

Evaluation is a contested field. This collection considers the relationship between evaluation and research, and the ethical and moral dilemmas raised when evaluating equity and widening participation in higher education. The growing demands for evidence of impact frame expectations that we can justify government funding of particular university-led equity initiatives and understand what works well enough to ensure that resources are being allocated and used appropriately.

Drawing on the international seminar series they designed and facilitated over 2014-16, the editors have created a framework of praxis around contested understandings of access, equity and widening participation in higher education. They and their authors have produced an invaluable resource for developing equity in research, evaluation and practice in higher education.

"Thank goodness! A book that moves us beyond what works to what matters in evaluating equity in higher education. A book informed by the ontology of widening participation and a commitment to epistemological equity. Finally a book that sets a new platinum standard for educational evaluation to rival the self-proclaimed and misguided gold standard of RCTs."

Trevor Gale, Professor of Education Policy and Social Justice, University of Glasgow

"There has always been a risk that the much-needed evaluation of fair access and widening participation initiatives may be contaminated by existing, and unequal, hierarchies of power and therefore 'value'. This rich collection shows it is possible to combine rigorous evaluation with critical research and also advocacy and progressive practice."

Peter Scott, Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education

"Rarely does a book come along that so comprehensively addresses a current need in the equity sector as this one. By bringing together international perspectives, this book challenges what counts as 'evidence' in the field, critically considering how we frame and evaluate complex and contested entities associated with 'access' and 'widening participation'. A must-read for not only those involved in implementing or evaluating equity practice but also anyone passionate about education and social justice."

Professor Sarah O'Shea, University of Wollongong

"This important and timely book makes a significant contribution to inform the work of both widening participation practitioners and academics researching the area, and demonstrates clearly why many of us in the field consider this professional distinction arbitrary and somewhat artificial in practice. The commitment of editors and contributors alike in promoting a socially just higher education system shines through these original and often innovative chapters, and there are valuable lessons for WP theory and practice for anyone reading this collection; policymakers please take note!"

Richard Waller, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education, University of the West of England

Introduction, by Penny Jane Burke
1. Key debates in researching and evaluating equity initiatives, by Annette Hayton and Jacqueline Stevenson
2. Researching and evaluating equity and widening participation: Praxis-based frameworks, by Penny Jane Burke and Matt Lumb
3. NERUPI: A praxis-based framework, by Annette Hayton
4. Admission to medicine and law at Russell Group universities: The impact of A-level subject choice, by Catherine Dilnot and Vikki Boliver
5. Student mothers in higher education: Tackling widening participation and child poverty, by Claire Callender
6. Respecting difference: Researching the intersectionality of gender, race, faith and culture in higher education, by Heidi Safia Mirza
7. When class trumps university status: Narratives of Zoe and Francesca from the Paired Peers project, by Nicola Ingram, Jessica Abrahams and Ann-Marie Bathmaker
8. Becoming a reflexive researcher: A personal research journey, by Jacqueline Stevenson

Penny Jane Burke

Penny Jane Burke is Global Innovation Chair of Equity, and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales.

Annette Hayton

Annette Hayton is Head of Widening Participation at the University of Bath.

Jacqueline Stevenson

Jacqueline Stevenson is Head of Research at the Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University.