Archive for social equality

1,000 college places to be held for less well-off

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 8 September 2009 by Steve

Ireland“About 1,000 college places a year are to be reserved for less well-off students who will have points added to their Leaving Certificate results when competing with other applicants. The scheme being operated by the seven universities, all teacher training colleges and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), has previously been limited to students at about 300 schools …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 8 September]

White collar woes hit college hopes

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 7 September 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Financial worries and a lack of parental guidance are keeping a substantial portion of the middle classes from college, new research shows. The percentage of young people from the ‘lower white collar’ social group enrolling in college has fallen, whereas it has risen for children of every other group, from manual workers to professionals. There is now a greater percentage of semi-skilled workers’ children in college than there are young people from lower white collar backgrounds …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 7 September]

Children of top earners dominate courses

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The children of top-earning medical, legal and health professionals disproportionately continue to dominate entry to university courses in those fields, despite widening of access in other study areas. Figures from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), which oversees access policies in third-level colleges, show that almost one-in-three first-year medical school students in medicine last autumn came from professional family backgrounds, such as doctors, solicitors, barristers, engineers and pharmacists …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 27 August]

Higher education and class

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In a quick follow-up to the post on this blog of last night, the Higher Education Authority has released figures that show the extent to which in Ireland the children of so-called ‘higher professionals’ (mainly doctors and lawyers) are hugely over-represented in the student body in degree programmes that lead to professional qualification. ‘Higher professionals’ make up 3 per cent of the population, but their children account for 33 per cent of medical students and 23 per cent of law students …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 26 August]

Hotly-contested college courses are still largely a family affair

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The sons and daughters of higher professional classes are hogging entry to university courses to become doctors, vets, lawyers or pharmacists. Children of doctors, engineers and solicitors and similar socio-economic groups are dominating participation in the most prestigious degree programmes. Little has changed in the past decade and students from lower social classes are still not getting their share of places on those courses …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 27 August]

Professionals’ children dominate certain courses

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Almost half of medical students and over one-third of law students come from professional family backgrounds, according to a new report. But it says lower socio- economic groups such as non-manual workers, semi-skilled or unskilled workers are still hugely under-represented on these courses. Not one student entering university courses in pharmacy or medicine in 2008/2009 came from an unskilled background. The findings of the report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) bolster the view advanced by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe that the ‘free fees’ regime has failed to widen access …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 27 August]

Figures show divide in medicine courses

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 26 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The children of doctors, solicitors and other ‘higher professional’ groupings continue to dominate entry to third level courses in medicine, law and similar professions, according to new figures by the Higher Education Authority. Preliminary data on the socio-economic backgrounds of last year’s higher education entrants reveals that although ‘higher professionals’ make up just 5% of the overall population, their children take 33% of medicine places each year …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 26 August]

Don’t let them in to watch them sink

Posted in teaching with tags , on 21 July 2009 by Steve

UK“Lowering university entrance grades won’t help working-class children. They need more educational opportunities earlier in life. There is something very easy and rather lazy about denouncing universities for their elitism, and suggesting (as Alan Milburn does in a report to be released tomorrow) that a lack of basic education can be made up for, by lowering entry qualifications for working class children …” (more)

[Angela Phillips, Guardian, 20 July]

Poorer students narrow the university gap

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 5 July 2009 by Steve

UK“More young students from poor backgrounds are going to university than ever before, narrowing the gap between rich and poor students’ participation rates, new government figures suggest. Statistics on full-time young participation by socio-economic class released today show the proportion of England’s 18- to 20-year-olds from the top three socio-economic classes taking degrees fell to 41.2% in 2007-08, from 45.2% in 2002-03. Over the same period, going to university full-time became more common among the bottom four socio-economic groups, with participation rates increasing from 18.1% to 21% …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 1 July]

Family wealth and admission

Posted in teaching with tags , on 12 May 2009 by Steve

USA“It’s breaking news!!! The admissions process isn’t fair! I know so because The Washington Post had a big article recently (ok, April, but I’ll admit I didn’t notice until one of our readers forwarded it to me for comment) on the subject. Their intrepid reporter, after what I’m sure was a gruelling round of research involving at least three phone calls, uncovered the previously untold story that rich kids have an advantage in the admissions process. I know, shocking. Take a moment to recover your composure. I’ll wait …” (more)

[Not Your Average Admissions Blog, 8 May]

Reintroduction of third-level fees may hinder social progress

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 28 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“It is clear that higher education students are going to be asked to contribute to the cost of their education. Although this will create some social problems, it is not unreasonable because higher education adds considerably to the eventual earning power of most of those who engage with it. Moreover, while it makes sense for primary and secondary education to be free because everyone benefits from it, only 60 per cent of each age cohort enter higher education and some 50 per cent secure a qualification. It does not seem equitable that the half of the population who do not benefit from this experience should, through taxes, be required to help enhance the earning power of the other half of the population …” (more)

[Garret Fitzgerald, Irish Times, 28 March]

College fees must be used to combat social inequality

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 25 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“University fees are coming back. Good. The mechanism through which they will be reintroduced is unclear and could be messy. The problems created by the corporatisation of universities won’t be resolved. The antiquated grants system remains in desperate need of reform. Economics rather than ideology is driving the move, but the principle that students who can afford it should contribute towards the cost of their tuition should be re-established. Since students themselves personally reap the financial rewards of their higher education, it’s only fair that they should be required to invest in their future careers. On a macroeconomic level, the country benefits from a well-educated workforce, but on a personal level, lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers and computer scientists earn a good rate of return on their education. Why shouldn’t they pay something towards it? …” (more)

[Sarah Carey, Irish Times, 25 March]

MPs attack top universities for failing to open doors to poorest students

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 26 February 2009 by Steve

“Leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are failing to shed their elitist image, according to a report by MPs which reveals that a £400m drive to encourage people from the poorest backgrounds to go to university has resulted in only a marginal increase in applications. Universities, schools and the government are all blamed for failing to tackle the bias in applications, which means that more than twice the proportion of the richest school leavers go to university compared with those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. A Commons public accounts committee report published today – which has been instantly disputed by ministers – claims the government has failed to track what universities have done with £392m in grants to universities since 2001 to open access to people from different backgrounds …” (more)

[Polly Curtis, Guardian, 26 February]