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What is ‘widening access’ to higher education? A review of approaches adopted by HEIs and colleges in Wales to ‘widening access’ to HE

Despite major expansion of higher education (HE) in the UK over recent decades individuals from the least socially advantaged backgrounds continue to enter HE at lower rates than their more advantaged counterparts (Christie et al, 2005; Croll and Attwood 2013), and when they do, they enter less prestigious HEIs (Ball et al 2002, Reay et…

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A review of approaches adopted by HEIs in Wales to evaluating widening access

Widening participation in higher education has been a central pillar of UK Government’s higher education policy since the 1990s. In Wales, the centrality of the ‘widening access’ agenda within its strategy for higher education has resulted in pressure on HEIs to expand access to HE opportunities to those traditionally under-represented in it. With the aim…

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How is the Welsh Government’s widening access policy delivered on a regional level?

Widening access to higher education has been a central theme within the Welsh Government’s strategy for higher education in recent years. This widening access agenda is predicated on the basis that particular social groups (namely, those from particular social, ethnic or geographical backgrounds) are under-represented in HE. Widening access to HE opportunities to these groups…

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To what extent are institutional widening access strategies delivered on a departmental level?

In recognition of inequitable rates of participation in higher education amongst individuals from different social groups, the Welsh Government has implemented policies putatively aimed at widening access to HE amongst social groups traditionally underrepresented therein (Welsh Government, 2009). Given the Welsh Government’s emphasis on widening access to HE in Wales in recent years, there are…

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Targeting ‘Communities First’ areas in Wales to widening access to higher education: how appropriate are the methods?

In recent years, widening participation in higher education in Wales has been a key policy drive of the Welsh Government. Central to meeting its widening access agenda has been the adoption of area based strategies to widening access to higher education(HE) in Wales. This has been manifest in the targeting of residents of Communities First…