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Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data

  • Chowdry, Haroon

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Crawford, Claire

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Dearden, Lorraine

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Goodman, Alissa

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Vignoles, Anna

    ()

    (University of Cambridge)

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 the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4991.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (Statistics in Society), 2013, 176 (2), 431–457
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4991
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  1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  4. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2008. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20081, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  5. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "The Role of Credit Constraints in Educational Choices: Evidence from NCDS and BCS70," CEE Discussion Papers 0048, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  6. 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.
  7. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0041, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  9. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational inequality and the expansion of UK higher education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 17497, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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