Social inequalities in higher education: why and how national institutional factors matter


The question of how to widen access to higher education has been given unprecedented public prominence in Scotland following the launch of the Scottish Government Commission on Widening Access, chaired by Dame Ruth Silver. We are very pleased that Dame Ruth will be opening this AQMeN event, which will bring international comparative research on the role of institutional factors for widening access to the debate– looking at Scottish evidence in comparison with the rest of the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA.

There will be a particular focus on the effects of differentiation among types of higher education, and on the effects of the curriculum at school and higher education institutions, exploring whether particular types of institution or particular types of curriculum aid or hinder equality of opportunity. Our expert speakers will give an overview of their research and the wider policy debate, followed by small-group discussions which will focus on the implications of the research results for policy and practice.

The event will feature a keynote lecture from Professor Adam Gamoran ( President of the William T. Grant Foundation in New York City and John D. MacArthur Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison). Professor Gamoran will talk about the state of educational inequality in the 21st century, focusing on recent increases in the USA and elsewhere and assessing potential responses to these trends. 

The target audience for the event includes policy makers and analysts, practitioners from the school and higher education sectors, student representatives, local authority representatives, third sector organisations and journalists with an interest in higher education. 

This event takes place as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, which runs from 7-14th November 2015. 

Download the full programme and details of all our speakers

Register for this event via Eventbrite. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions about this event, please get in touch via or call 0131 651 5536.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 00:00
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

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