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Title: Access policy and practice in further and higher education : investigating 'success' as access turns into widening participation
Author: Andrews, Margaret T.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 2348
Awarding Body: University of Greenwich
Current Institution: University of Greenwich
Date of Award: 2006
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The policy shift to widen participation in recent years has emerged using language associated with radical, practitioner-led discourses on post compulsory education and training (PCET) of the 1970s and 80s and even from earlier periods. This research focuses on the underrepresented student experience and perceptions of success within the PCET system. It uses a mainly qualitative approach to analyse the experience of staff and students in two further education (FE) colleges and two universities with traditions of widening access to underrepresented groups to explore good practice in widening access to further and higher education, the support services, student-centred administration as well as institutional policies and barriers to widening access. It also examines, from the perspectives of senior managers, teachers and students, institutional polices and practices to support the success of underrepresented groups. The research showed some evidence of changes within institutions but found that staff practices and administration processes had not changed to meet the diversified participation. What was in evidence was a largely unchanged provision requiring the student to change. The successful student experience, for higher education (HE) certainly and mature students generally, identity was personal and strong, community links remain in the home. The HE institution is not somewhere you go to live, as campus based, ‘traditional’ students. The theories on success and retention of Tinto and others therefore need revisiting in light of the ‘new’ student population. The research evidence suggests a different context of successful access to PCET for ‘non-traditional’ students and the failure of the case study institutions to identify and accommodate it. The research found hard working but frustrated staff in FE and HE, and dissatisfied but determined students. The research concludes with recommendations for policy makers and PCET institutions.
Supervisor: McNay, Ian ; Ainley, Patrick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education