Participation in higher education (HE hereafter) has increased dramatically during the latter part of the 20th century. The latest HEFCE research indicates that since the late 1990s, the rate of HE participation among young people has increased from 30 to 38 per cent (HEFCE, 2013:2). However, while participation has increased, concerns regarding unequal access to HE for socially disadvantaged groups remains an important issue for policy makers and academics alike (see for example, HEFCE, 2005, 2010, 2013; Raphael Reed, 2007; Chowdry et al. 2013;Taylor et al., 2013). A stark reminder of this issue is demonstrated by the lack of change in the differential between individuals from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds. Although participation rates have increased for young people from both the ‘most advantaged’ and the ‘most disadvantaged’ areas as defined by HEFCE’s participation of local areas (POLAR)analysis, the participation gap between them has remained broadly at 40 percentage points. Indeed, young people from the most disadvantaged areas would need to treble their participation rate in order to match the rate of their more advantaged contemporaries (HEFCE,2013: 3)