This new briefing by Professor Vikki Boliver of Durham University is a 5-page summary of this year’s memorial lecture in honour of the late Professor David Raffe. Her briefing draws on her recent research in Scotland to consider how we can promote fairer access to university study for disadvantaged applicants. It can be accessed directly here, or via our ‘Briefings’ page.
ABSTRACT: The Scottish Government is committed to promoting fairer access to higher education and has called upon universities to reduce academic entry requirements for disadvantaged applicants in order to help achieve this goal. This research briefing lays out the ethical case for reducing entry requirements for disadvantaged learners, and draws on research commissioned by the Scottish Funding Council to explore how low entry requirements would need to go in order to fully widen participation, and how low they could go without setting disadvantaged learners up to fail. The briefing also considers the shortcomings of using area-level measures such as the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) to target and monitor widening access initiatives.