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Open Access Widening participation and higher education. Students, systems and other paradoxes

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This paper has developed from research that the author initiated. The data were derived from an outreach project that aimed to increase awareness of and participation in higher education amongst Muslim women within a major English city. The paper elevates some of the author's findings into a general discussion on the role of higher education (HE) and the paradoxes that are revealed when considering how concepts of widening participation and lifelong learning fit within the HE system. Readers are invited to think of different approaches to widening participation, for example through civic and community engagement, and consider sustained research that relates access to wider debates within the study of HE, such as lifelong learning and civic responsibility.

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Keywords: ACCESS; CIVIC ENGAGEMENT; HIGHER EDUCATION; LIFELONG LEARNING; WIDENING PARTICIPATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

    Calls for papers
    LRE is planning to feature the following subjects: learning in London; academic literacies. Please see publication homepage for deadlines and how to submit articles on these and other subjects.
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