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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2006): Education - UK - Higher

I. McNay (editor)

Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006

Higher education provision has to meet demands for expansion, excellence, diversity and equity in access and assessment, teaching and research, as well as entrepreneurial engagement with the world outside. Higher education systems have moved from elite provision through a mass system towards universal levels. This collection looks forward to the next decade of higher education, and identifies strategic issues that need to be tackled at institutional and system levels. It considers how far higher education has adapted to respond to the requirements of a mass and universal system, rather than struggling to sustain an elite system with mass participation.

Still wide of the mark?

S. Court

Public Finance, Mar.10th-16th 2006, p.24-25

At present rates of growth, the government’s target of 50% of young people going to university by 2010 is unlikely to be met. There are fears that the introduction of variable top up fees will make working class young people even more reluctant to enter higher education. Government is funding a range of initiatives to entice them, including outreach activities by institutions in schools and colleges to raise awareness of higher education, Summer Schools for bright children from poor backgrounds, and in-course support such as financial assistance and study skills training for non-traditional students.

P. Lewis & D. Macleod

Education Guardian, March 21st 2006, p.1 & 2

A huge cohort of young people will reach the age of 18 in 2010, producing fierce competition for university places. This will be followed by a sharp decline according to an education think tank report which looks at the troubling impact of this demographic trend on universities. Reporting on the steep drop in post-sixteen retention in education over the last decade, the author claims that there is no chance of the government achieving its target of 50% of young people entering higher education by 2010. This article also reports on teenage ambitions for education and employment.

[See also Independent, March 21st 2006, p.8; Daily Telegraph, March 21st 2006, p.2]

L. S. Bibbings

Law and Society, vol.33, 2006, p.74-91

Article discusses attempts to increase the participation of young people from disadvantaged groups in UK higher education through outreach programmes, student support services and admissions policies. It goes on the consider the nature and legality of these policies in the context of the concept of affirmative action and human rights law. It finally reflects on the effectiveness of widening participation initiatives to date and looks briefly at the future.

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