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Title: Post-16 and higher education : a multilevel analysis of educational participation in England
Author: Wright, Caroline
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the extent to which, individual and contextual effects determine educational participation in England. It is composed of two large scale projects that examine both post-16 and higher educational (HE) participation. The first explores the factors that influence the propensity to stay on in post-16 education for one cohort of young people in England. This is based on a combined individual-level data set drawn from three sources: the National Pupil Database (NPD); the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC); and Census data, which provides information on geographical areas, in particular LSOAs and wards. The second analysis examines the determinants of HE participation in four different ways. The first explores the propensity to succeed during the UCAS application process, by comparing UCAS applications with final university admissions; the second examines the determinants of distance travelled to higher education; the third, the likelihood of attending a Russell Group university; and the final strand examines propensity to study a particular subject at university. This second project is based on a unique data set provided by the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS). Individual-level variables including attainment, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and term of birth, are modelled, as well as contextual variables, to assess their influence on educational participation. When significant contextual variance is found in the models, higher-level variables such as neighbourhood deprivation and school mean GCSE scores are included in the modelling process in to attempt to understand, what it is about schools, neighbourhoods and local authorities that make a difference to outcomes for young people. The aforementioned data structures and the research questions are inherently multilevel, with processes acting at the individual, school, neighbourhood (LSOA and ward) and local authority level. Consequently, a multilevel model approach is adopted that analyses participation simultaneously at multiple scales. This research suggests that there are important processes acting at the individual and contextual level none more so than individual attainment level, but once this has been accounted for, significant effects remain according to: ethnicity, socio-economic status and gender. Further, once these individual level differences have been taken into account, significant contextual variance remains, largely at the school and local authority level. Importantly, despite the focus and indeed preferential treatment in the HE applications process by student's place of residence, so called 'neighbourhood effects' are of very little consequence in determining participation in post-16 education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available