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Access, Participation and Mobility: A Critical Policy Analysis of Higher Education in England between 1987 and 2012

Lane, Laura (2015) Access, Participation and Mobility: A Critical Policy Analysis of Higher Education in England between 1987 and 2012. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Laura Lane EdD Thesis.pdf
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The thesis is a study of how notions of access, participation and mobility are represented in four successive major policy documents on contemporary British and English higher education. A critical policy text analysis is applied to government White Papers on higher education published in 1987, 1991, 2003 and 2011. Within and between each document, the ideas underpinning these concepts are examined, and their relationships to expansion, the economy and society are explored. The research reports on how these concepts are expressed, how they are combined and how they relate to other policy aims. In these documents, expressions of access-participation-mobility have shifted from widening access to fair access and from widening participation to social mobility. In tandem, conceptualisations of higher education and society have evolved from the role of higher education as a social good to its function as a vehicle for social mobility. Amid a weakening of lifelong learning as a setting for widening participation, equity-expansion agendas have narrowed from higher education participation at its broadest to access from low-income groups to the most selective universities. The rationale for policies on access-participation-mobility has consistently been underpinned by interpretations of human capital theory and meritocracy. Against this backdrop, policies on access-participation-mobility have been increasingly subordinated to technocratic, economic objectives and framed by marketisation discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.647044
Depositing User: Laura Lane
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 08:33
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:10
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8979

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