Access to higher education (HE) has become an extremely controversial area of policy, assuccessive UK administrations have sought to balance increasing student fees with ensuringthat HE is open to individuals from as wide a range of social backgrounds as possible. Therehave also been numerous initiatives that have sought to increase participation bydisadvantaged groups, by raising levels of educational attainment or changing attitudes andaspirations in relation to HE (Gorard et al., 2007). Moreover, somewhat distinctiveapproaches have been adopted by the administrations in the different countries of the UK.This entails a complex set of circumstances; but also opens up the possibilities for fruitful’home international’ comparative analysis (Gallacher and Raffe, 2011).