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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Education - UK - Higher

GETTING TO THE TOP OF THE CLASS

D. Walker

Guardian, Apr. 30th 2001, p. 15

Article discusses the association between class origins and class destination based on a discussion paper by the Cabinet Office on social mobility. Since 1945 the UK has become more of a middle class society as more room how emerged at the top, "thanks to the expansion of white collar and professional employment." Article goes on to discuss how education was the route to success for the postwar generations and whether it will continue to be for generations to come.

A PILOT OF APTITUDE TESTING FOR UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE

A. S. Macdonald et al

Slough: National Foundation for Educational Research for the Sutton Trust, 2001-06-14

Analysis found no evidence that the association between Standardised Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and A-levels varied according to background factors such as ethnicity or type of school attended. Some students scored highly on one measure but not so highly on the other. If both measures were used for selection for higher education, more students could come into consideration. Over 80% of students who enter Oxbridge achieve three grades As at A-level. Of the students in low achieving state schools in the pilot, 30 (5% of the sample) scored 1200 or more in the SAT, sufficient to be considered for entry to a top US university. This suggests that the SAT could identify a larger proportion of potential entrants from low-achieving schools.

(See also Aptitude Testing for University Entrance: a Literature Review by A. S. McDonald et al)

SOCIAL CLASS AND HIGHER EDUCATION: ISSUES AFFECTING DECISIONS ON PARTICIPATION BY LOWER SOCIAL CLASS GROUPS

A. Connor and S. Dewson

Nottingham: DFEE Publications, 2001 (Research report; 267)

Report based on a survey of 223 school and college students and 1,677 undergraduates found that low early educational achievement was the main barrier to working class students entering higher education. Some of those who could take a degree were put off by withdrawal of student grants and introduction of tuition fees, and by lack of good information about academic and financial options.

STUDENT GOAL WON'T BE MET UNTIL 2010

J. O'Leary

Times, May 14th 2001, p. 2

Plans for half of all young people to go on to higher education will not be realised until 2010 because demand for places has stalled. In England alone, £78m is being spent on the creation of 32,000 extra places, 2000 of these on two-year foundation degrees that will not be promoted until after the general election.

STUDENTS, ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS AND CONTRACTS: A TICKING TIME BOMB?

M. David

Education and the Law, vol. 13, 2001, p. 9-28

Argues that the agreement between a student and an academic institution constitutes a contract for the provision of educational services. If the advertised services are not provided, or are provided inadequately and incompletely, then an action for breach of contract on behalf of the student(s) affected may lie. Moreover, any generalised disclaimer on behalf of the academic institution may (now) fall foul of unfair contract terms legislation.