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How is HE differentiated in the UK? Is this changing? David Raffe and Linda Croxford University of Edinburgh Changing Inequalities and Access to a Differentiated.

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Presentation on theme: "How is HE differentiated in the UK? Is this changing? David Raffe and Linda Croxford University of Edinburgh Changing Inequalities and Access to a Differentiated."— Presentation transcript:

1 How is HE differentiated in the UK? Is this changing? David Raffe and Linda Croxford University of Edinburgh Changing Inequalities and Access to a Differentiated HE System Seminar at the University of Edinburgh, 14 June 2013

2 How is HE differentiated? Is this changing? Differentiation as identified through (or linked to) student characteristics Among HE institutions and ‘faculties’ Three perspectives: 1.Segregation indices One student characteristic at a time Uneven distribution across institutions/faculties 2.Mapping dimensions of variation Based on combinations of student characteristics Vertical v horizontal differentiation 3.Relate to ‘established’ hierarchy of institutional sectors First examine stability and validity of sectors Then look at uneven distribution across sectors



5 1. Levels of segregation (summary) Higher for ethnic minorities than social class – But downward trend for some ethnic minorities Higher for independent school background than social class – And increasing for independent school Higher in England than in other home countries Analysis of institutions rather than ‘faculties’ gives similar results (and trends) for class and ethnicity – But shows lower segregation for gender, over-21s, non-UK domicile

6 2. What dimensions can be inferred from student characteristics? Dimensions of variation (principal components) based on characteristics of entrants – Eg % high social class, % under 21, mean quals score Analyses of differentiation among ‘faculties’ and among institutions give similar results (institutions not subjects are the main basis of differentiation?) Analyses based on entrants and applicants give very similar results UK-wide, then repeated for England, Wales and Scotland, each cohort, etc

7 Four main dimensions (components) of variation among UK HE ‘faculties’ Dimension 1 ‘Status’ 2 ‘Black and Bangladeshi’ 3 ‘Asian’ 4 ‘Male, non-UK, Chinese’ Main factors (+ve) Qualifications High social class Indep school Non-local Under 21 Black African Black Carib. Mixed/other ethnicity Bangladeshi Other Asian Indian Pakistani Other Asian Bangladeshi Chinese EU (non-UK) Outside EU Chinese (UK domicile) Main factors (-ve) Low social class FE college background Female % of variance 25141310

8 UK HE : a hierarchical, stratified system? Status dimension (component 1) – Combines social and educational status – But only weakly associated with ethnic background – Very stable over time – Very similar across England, Wales, Scotland – Correlated with hierarchy of sectors (Russell Group/other pre- 1992/post-1992) – Not strongly correlated with subject area (except medicine and vet medicine)

9 Horizontal differentiation Ethnicity (components 2 and 3) – Different dimensions associated with black and Asian background students (all UK domicile) – Fairly stable over time – Not strongly correlated with 3-sector hierarchy – Not strongly correlated with subject area – Strong geographical aspect (London) – Similar dimensions in England and Wales, single dimension in Scotland Male, non-UK, Chinese (component 4) – Associated with engineering and technology

10 3. Differentiation related to ‘established’ hierarchy of university sectors Scotland: – Ancient (pre-1600) – Old (other pre-1992) – New (post-1992) England: – ‘Golden triangle’ (Oxbridge/London Russell Group as at 1996) – Other Russell Group (as at 1996) – Other pre-1992 – Post-1992 Is the hierarchy (still) valid? Have status differences between sectors weakened? How are sectors associated with students’ social & ethnic backgrounds, and has this changed?

11 Have status differences between sectors become weaker? (as inferred from applicant preferences) 4 institution-level indicators of status … 1.Entries as % of applications 2.% of entries through clearing 3.Average quals of applicants 4.Average quals of entrants … reveal stable hierarchy: – Gaps between sectors don’t narrow – widen slightly at top in England after 2006 – Not explained by subject areas – Variation within each sector doesn’t increase (in England) – Substantial stability in rank-ordering within sectors (in England) – Partial exception: former Scottish CIs in 1990s 2 system-level indicators … preferences of applicants with un/conditional offers from pre- & post-1992 univs … show no decline in preference for pre-1992 Universities







18 How are institutional sectors associated with student characteristics? (Summary) 1.Associated with social class – Little change over time 2.More strongly associated with independent school background – Strong association – Strengthening in England – flight from post-1992s 3.Associated with ethnicity but variable and changing – Very weak association in ‘expected’ direction in Scotland – Strong association for blacks in England – but slight improvement – Asians most strongly represented in ‘golden triangle’ and least strongly in other Russell Group in England – Declining proportion of Asians in post-1992s in England

19 Discussion points Hierarchy, not just diversity – Strong, stable and monolithic – Associated with institutions more than subjects – Implications for market model Differentiation by ethnicity as well as social class – But more variable and changeable Key variables and processes – Independent schools – Geography – Subjects? Home international comparisons – Differentiation (somewhat) weaker in smaller devolved systems – But same hierarchical structure … – … result of UK-wide system? Shared culture of HE? Universal pressures?

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