Towards equity: Developing a national approach to improving social justice through higher education in England

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


England presents an interesting case study of a country that has attempted to improve social justice within a neo-liberal higher education system. Expansion of the higher education sector did not achieve equality, and there has been recognition of the need to also consider equality of outcomes, especially success within higher education. England has achieved only a small differential between students from the highest and lowest socio-economic groups for continuation and completion, and has utilized national policy tools to achieve this. Research about student retention and success tends to focus on changing either the student or the institution, but England has used a combination of national policy tools to stimulate institutional responsibility for success and to promote institutional change. This has contributed to greater equity, shifting from the focus from fairness in participation to inclusion. Challenges still remain however, with regards to improving access in general and to the most selective universities in particular, levelling the attainment between groups, and achieving equity in terms of labour market and postgraduate outcomes. Moving forward, these three issues should be the priorities for English higher education policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEquity in Higher Education: evidences, policies and practices. Reducing Inequality and Increasing Participation and Attainment
EditorsOrlanda Tavares, Carla Sa, Cristina Sin, Alberto Amaral
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-69691-7
ISBN (Print)978-3030696900
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2022

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