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Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data

  • Haroon Chowdry

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Claire Crawford

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Lorraine Dearden

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Alissa Goodman

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Anna Vignoles

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute of Education)

This paper makes use of newly linked administrative data to better understand the determinants of higher education participation amongst individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It is unique in being able to follow two cohorts of students in England - those who took GCSEs in 2001-02 and 2002-03 - from age 11 to age 20. The findings suggest that while there remain large raw gaps in HE participation (and participation at high-status universities) by socio-economic status, these differences are substantially reduced once controls for prior attainment are included. Moreover, these findings hold for both state and private school students. This suggests that poor attainment in secondary schools is more important in explaining lower HE participation rates amongst students from disadvantaged backgrounds than barriers arising at the point of entry into HE. These findings highlight the need for earlier policy intervention to raise HE participation rates amongst disadvantaged youth.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W10/04.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:10/04
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  1. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  2. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/101, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  6. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro-Gutierrez & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 190(1), pages 75-88, October.
  7. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "The role of credit constraints in educational choices: evidence from NCDS and BCS70," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19447, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is Free School Meal Status a Valid Proxy for Socio-Economic Status (in Schools Research)?," CEE Discussion Papers 0084, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  10. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," NBER Working Papers 9055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Vignoles Anna F & Powdthavee Nattavudh, 2009. "The Socioeconomic Gap in University Dropouts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, April.
  14. Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles & Alison Wolf & Fernando Galindo-Rueda, 2003. "The determinants and labour market effects of lifelong learning," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(16), pages 1711-1721.
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