Widening Access to Higher Education

In this policy proposal, the government’s policies and targets will be evaluated with respect to the Scottish universities’ policies and targets and will see where the government have succeeded and where the government has not done enough to give access to students from lower economic backgrounds.

Published

2019

Education

Authors

Clara Feudenberg

Ellen Harper

Rosie Margolis

Gregor Phimister

Ariam Teklemichael

Executive Summary

Despite increases in the attendance of Scottish students from deprived backgrounds to Scottish university, those from lower economic backgrounds still are less likely to go to university than their better off counterparts (UCAS, 2019). The Scottish Government have set out many targets and policies for widening participation. Widening participation is also a key target for the University’s themselves, with their own targets and policies.


In this policy proposal, the government’s policies and targets will be evaluated with respect to the Scottish universities’ policies and targets and will see where the government have succeeded and where the government has not done enough.


The policy recommendations that follow from this research are:


  • More ambitious targets to be set by the Scottish Government regarding proportion of entrants from the 20% most deprived areas to higher education.

  • Targets should be compulsorynot merely recommended.

  • Scottish Governmental policies should require universities to introduce/develop pre-entry programmes targeted at pupils from widening participation backgrounds interested in any degree programme (further the scope of Reach/Access to the Professions).

  • Scottish Governmental policies should require universities to include pupils attending higher progression schools but that meet other widening participation requirements to participate in pre-entry programmes.