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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. 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. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  5. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Belley, Phillippe & Lochner, Lance, 2009. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2009.
  9. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment : a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 333, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. 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.
  11. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0044, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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