Degrees of Success: widening access to higher education and social mobility


Professor Cristina Iannelli, Co-Director of AQMeN and lead on the Education and Social Stratification research strand, will be giving her inaugural lecture on 'Degrees of Success: widening access to higher education and social mobility'.

Date and time: Wednesday 26th April 2017, 5.30pm
Venue: George Square Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

This lecture is free and open to the public, however registration is esssential via Eventbrite.


Issues concerning the distribution of opportunities in society, social mobility and inclusion have been prominent in both academic and policy debates for many years. In these debates, education, in particular higher education, features as the ‘great equalizer’, i.e. as the main route through which people can escape from the disadvantage they are born in and climb the social ladder. However, the empirical evidence suggests that, despite decades of expansion of higher education and many widening access initiatives, social inequalities in education and labour market outcomes remain stark. Why is this the case?This lecture will argue that, in addition to the well-known importance of individual and family factors, institutional factors - such as differentiation of institutions and curricula, and the extent of linkages between education and labour market – play a crucial role in shaping the unequal outcomes we observe. Discussing the Scottish case, the lecture will point out current policy dilemmas and contradictions and the need for more evidence-based policies and for joined-up efforts.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 17:30
Moray House School of Education
George Square Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

Research Strand: