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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2004): Education - UK - Higher

A LESSON FOR EDUCATION: UNIVERSITY EXPANSION AND FALLING INCOME MOBILITY

S. Machin and P. Gregg

New Economy, vol. 10(4), 2003, p.194-198

The article investigates how intergenerational mobility has changed over time. Two groups of children - one born in March 1958, the other born in April 1970 - were examined to see how closely their earnings and income were tied to that of their parents. Results showed that the second groups' income was much more closely related to their parents than the first. The authors believe this is linked to the expansion in higher education, as this has given greater benefit to children from wealthier families. The article concludes that educational policy affects income equality and thus has long lasting consequences for individuals.

THE LOGIC OF LOANS: STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF STUDENT LOANS

A Christie and M Munro

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.24, 2003, p621-636

Current government policy towards student finance is based on the assumption that students will be willing to bear the costs of their education because of the anticipated benefits it offers. Using evidence from a qualitative study of 49 students, paper analyses the extent to which they engage in a process of rationally weighing up the costs and benefits of higher education. Results show that middle class students take a university education for granted and are cushioned from debt by parental support. Working class young people are more aware of the risks involved in going to university, and seek to minimise them by living at home and maintaining links with a local labour market.

TOP-UP FEES VOTE PUT OFF AS PROTESTS GROW

P. Wintour and R. Smithers

The Guardian, December 2nd 2003, p.2

In a rare display of back-bench power, Mr Blair will postpone the key vote on university tuition fees until after the Christmas recess, amid signs that some ministers and parliamentary aides might quit in protest at the policy.

(See also The Financial Times, Dec 2nd 2003, p.2; The Independent Dec 2nd 2003, p.8)

USE IQ TESTS TO SELECT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, SAYS GOVERNMENT ADVISER

R. Garner

The Indpendent, December 10th 2003, p.1

IQ-style tests are more reliable than A-levels at predicting how well a student will do at university. The tests are believed by academics to give working-class youngsters - whose A-level results may have suffered because of poor schooling - an even chance of entering university. Professor Steven Schwartz, the head of the Government's task force on university admissions, is to recommend in his final report to ministers in the New Year that universities use the tests with A-level results to choose candidates. The aim is to increase the number of working class students.

WHOSE ASPIRATIONS ARE THEY ANYWAY?

K. Slack

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 7, 2003, p325-335

The Select Committee Report - Access to Higher Education (2001) stated that 'prospects for widened participation will be transformed when schools succeed in persuading students from poor backgrounds to stay on in school beyond the age 16'. Many schools with low staying-on rates are involved in projects designed to increase student participation in post-compulsory education. The article looks at one such initiative aimed at encouraging 13-14 year olds to 'aim high'. Drawing on data from interviews with pupils and staff, paper examines ways in which the process perpetuated inequalities rather than encouraging disadvantaged students.

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