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Access policy and practice in further and higher education: investigating “success” as access turns into widening participation

Access policy and practice in further and higher education: investigating “success” as access turns into widening participation

Andrews, Margaret T. (2006) Access policy and practice in further and higher education: investigating “success” as access turns into widening participation. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

The policy shift to widen participation in recent years has emerged using language associated with radical, practitioner-led discourses on post compulsory education and training (PCET) of the 1970s and 80s and even from earlier periods. This research focuses on the underrepresented student experience and perceptions of success within the PCET system. It uses a mainly qualitative approach to analyse the experience of staff and students in two further education (FE) colleges and two universities with traditions of widening access to underrepresented groups to explore good practice in widening access to further and higher education, the support services, student-centred administration as well as institutional policies and barriers to widening access. It also examines, from the perspectives of senior managers, teachers and students, institutional polices and practices to support the success of underrepresented groups. The research showed some evidence of changes within institutions but found that staff practices and administration processes had not changed to meet the diversified participation. What was in evidence was a largely unchanged provision requiring the student to change. The successful student experience, for higher education (HE) certainly and mature students generally, identity was personal and strong, community links remain in the home. The HE institution is not somewhere you go to live, as campus based, ‘traditional’ students. The theories on success and retention of Tinto and others therefore need revisiting in light of the ‘new’ student population. The research evidence suggests a different context of successful access to PCET for ‘non-traditional’ students and the failure of the case study institutions to identify and accommodate it. The research found hard working but frustrated staff in FE and HE, and dissatisfied but determined students. The research concludes with recommendations for policy makers and PCET institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.442078
Uncontrolled Keywords: widening participation, further education, higher education, post compulsory education and training, PCET, access, education policy,
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Education Leadership & Development
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:15
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/6097

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