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Widening participation: a role for transport? UK higher education policy and mobilityrelated educational exclusion

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Widening participation (WP) is high on the UK government's agenda. Despite progress in increasing participation in higher education (HE), disparities in participation rates among different social groups persist. This paper considers the extent to which transport may be a barrier to access to HE and therefore a contributor towards disparities in participation. As part of their WP strategy, the government recently published A New ‘University Challenge’, a policy document that highlights the development of locally provided HE as a strategy to open up HE to those who might otherwise be excluded. This paper considers the extent to which the institutions mentioned in this document have considered transport in their WP strategies and WP in their travel plans. The paper concludes that transport is an overlooked aspect of WP strategies, which may be significant in increasing participation in HE of under-represented groups, such as those targeted by A New ‘University Challenge’.
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Keywords: access; higher education; transport; transport and social exclusion; widening participation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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