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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. Jo Blanden, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 245-263, Summer.
  2. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is free school meal status a valid proxy for socio-economic status (in schools research)?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19385, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  11. 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.
  12. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment: a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19461, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  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.
  15. 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.
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