KCS event - ACCESS4ALL to higher education: equity, diversity and institutional change

13 December 2017, 2.30 PM - 13 December 2017, 5.30 PM

Dr Lisa Lucas (University of Bristol), Dr Sue Timmis (University of Bristol), Professor Tom Sperlinger (University of Bristol) and Dr Michael Donnelly (University of Bath)

Room 4.10, School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA

This event has been organised to showcase the ACCESS4ALL project, which is funded by the European Commission (EC) through the ERASMUS+ programme and relates to the social dimension of higher education and specifically, widening participation to higher education for students from under-represented groups. An example of good practice at the University of Bristol – ‘The Foundation Year in Arts and Humanities’ – will also be showcased. In addition, new research focusing on student mobility and choice in relation to higher education will be presented. The challenges of widening access and ensuring success for students from under-represented groups are addressed and the importance of institutional change.

Introducing the ACCESS4ALL Project (Dr Lisa Lucas and Dr Sue Timmis)

This 3-year project involves six European partners from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Romania and the UK and is focused on looking at the development of institutional good practices in enabling access and equity for students from under-represented groups. The (ACCESS4ALL) A4A toolkit has been developed for use in fostering change within institutions to achieve more equity in under-represented groups gaining access to higher education and achieving successful outcomes. The project will be outlined, including a broad overview of the contrasting higher education contexts across the participating countries and the ‘good practices’ database and the A4A toolkit and how it has been developed.

‘Spatial imaginaries’ and the transition to university: an intersectional analysis of class, ethnicity and place (Dr Michael Donnelly)

There is much research that has explored the significance of international student mobility, including the rationales, motivations and effects of overseas migration for university study. This paper builds the case for considering the significance of student mobility within countries. What might be referred to as ‘domestic’ student mobility is explored here in terms of the migration of different social, ethnic and cultural groups across 20 diverse geographic locations within the UK context. Data captured from a novel ‘mapping method’ is drawn on to illustrate the significance of young people’s spatial imaginaries in determining their university choices.

The Foundation in Arts and Humanities Programme (Professor Tom Sperlinger)

The Foundation in Arts and Humanities programme is a 1-year course, which has been running since 2013 in the Faculty of Arts at Bristol. The course provides an entry route to all degrees in Arts at Bristol, and is interdisciplinary, with units structured around the question ‘What does it mean to be human?’ Between 2013 and 2016, 105 students were recruited to the programme, aged 18 to 71, of whom 94 completed successfully; 90% did not have A-Levels. The programme recruits across a range of WP categories, with particularly strong recruitment of those facing multiple forms of disadvantage. Of the 2017 cohort, 63% are from NSec 4-7 (the socio-economic groups least likely to progress to HE); 67% meet 3 WP criteria and 22% of students meet 5 criteria.

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