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Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK

  • Massimiliano Bratti

    (DEAS, University of Milan)

Although past research has established the existence of strong social class effects on the decision to undertake higher education in the UK, there is only sparse empirical work investigating social class influences on the choice of degree subject at the undergraduate level. We estimate trinomial probit models of undergraduate degree subject enrolled for the period 1981-1991 using Universities’ Statistical Record data and generally find no social class effect. This finding is robust to different ways to aggregate degree subjects and the use of alternative econometric models. Our analysis suggests that in a period pre-dating the mass expansion of higher education, the replacement of student grants with student loans and the introduction of undergraduate student tuition fees, the UK university system granted equal opportunities to students from different social classes in terms of the degree subject enrolled.

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Paper provided by Universitá degli Studi di Milano in its series UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics with number unimi-1015.

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Date of creation: 24 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:bep:unimip:unimi-1015
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