Using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for research into Higher Education access
The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) has the potential to be an important new resource for addressing research questions regarding access to Higher Education. This paper outlines the data available in the LSYPE and assesses its quality, particularly relative to other datasets that have been used to address similar questions in the past. The paper finds many positive features of the data. These include data collection from parents (including much information on family background characteristics) and good family income measurement compared with many previous studies. The LSYPE also measures a greater depth of HE-related outcomes than some previous datasets, including application, entry, subject studied and institution attended. However, comparison with official statistics suggests that this may be undermined by a large overestimation of the proportion of young people who enter Higher Education (as much as ten percentage points) than we would see in a truly nationally representative sample. There is also some evidence of underreporting of family income. Nevertheless, the paper concludes that analysis of the LSYPE has the potential to shed new light on university access in England.
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