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Title: Contrasting experiences of working class and middle class students at a Scottish selective university : looking to Bourdieu for perspective
Author: Coles, Christopher Williams
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2020
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Despite the massive expansion of UK higher education provision from the 1960's onwards, concern remains about the under-representation of working class students at the selective universities. Debate continues about the causes of this under-representation and what ought to be done to remedy it. A wide variety of initiatives have been tried but the phenomenon persists; is it because selective universities unwittingly discriminate against working class students? In the context of a Scottish selective university, this study took the views of both working class and middle class students reading for a professionally accredited degree and compared their experiences with those identified in previous published literature. Students interviewed for this study came from a specific degree programme that is traditionally more popular with middle class entrants. Compared to previous studies, a generally improving picture of working class experience was found, and fewer obvious gaps between working class and middle class experience on application and attendance were identified. There seemed to be a coalescence of experience and a greater sense of camaraderie within the student cohort. However, it is concluded that the initiatives designed to widen access remain isolated, poorly co-ordinated, generally unscrutinised, and underfunded. Unless more drastic approaches to socioeconomic under-representation in selective universities can be identified and implemented, progress towards equalities of opportunity, experience, and outcome is likely to remain slow and piecemeal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LB2300 Higher Education ; LC Special aspects of education