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The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education

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  • Fernando Galindo-Rueda
  • Oscar Marcenaro
  • Anna Vignoles

Abstract

This paper provides up-to-date empirical evidence on the socio-economic gap in higher education (HE) participation, for the period spanning the introduction of tuition fees. We assess whether the gap has widened and ask whether the socio-economic gap emerges on entry into university or much earlier in the education system. We do this in two ways. Firstly we consider the likelihood of going to university for school leavers in poor neighbourhoods and analyse changes in this likelihood over time. Secondly, we use more detailed individual level data to model the determinants of HE participation, focusing on changes in the relationship between family background and HE participation over time. We find that the growth in HE participation amongst poorer students has been remarkably high, mainly because it was starting from such a low base. However, the gap between rich and poor, in terms of HE participation, has widened during the 1990s. Children from poor neighbourhoods have become relatively less likely to participate in HE since 1994/5, as compared to children from richer neighbourhoods. This trend started before the introduction of tuition fees. Much of the class difference in HE participation seems to reflect inequalities at earlier stages of the education system.

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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp44.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0044.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0044

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Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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Keywords: Education;

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References

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  1. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational Inequality and the Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 230-249, 05.
  2. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H & Gannon, B M, 2001. "The Earnings and Employment Effects of Young People's Vocational Training in Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(4), pages 387-417, September.
  3. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Declining Relative Importance of Ability in Predicting Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  4. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2003. "Changes in Educational Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/079, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oscar Marcenaro-Gutierrez & Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Who actually goes to university?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 333-357, May.
  2. Peter Dolton & Li Lin, 2011. "From Grants to Loans and Fees: The Demand for Post-Compulsory Education in England and Wales from 1955 to 2008," CEE Discussion Papers 0127, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. Javier Valbuena, 2012. "A Longitudinal Perspective on Higher Education Participation in the UK," Studies in Economics 1215, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "Education Policy in the UK," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(4), pages 64-74, 01.
  5. Cormac O'Dea & Ian Preston, 2012. "The distributional impact of public spending in the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Simon Burgess & Adam Briggs, 2006. "School Assignment, School Choice and Social Mobility," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/157, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. Rita Asplund & Oussama Ben Adbelkarim & Ali Skalli, 2008. "An equity perspective on access to, enrolment in and finance of tertiary education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 261-274.
  8. Chowdry, Haroon & Crawford, Claire & Dearden, Lorraine & Goodman, Alissa & Vignoles, Anna, 2010. "Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Philip Wales, 2013. "Access All Areas? The Impact of Fees and Background on Student Demand for Postgraduate Higher Education in the UK," SERC Discussion Papers 0128, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  10. Jake Anders, 2012. "Using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for research into Higher Education access," DoQSS Working Papers 12-13, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.

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