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Is widening participation still ethical?

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This article comes from a joint Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) and University Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) seminar in London on Widening Participation (WP) on 24 November 2010 - the day of the second major demonstration against the changes to higher education (HE) funding in England. Despite continuing public opposition and much soul-searching on the part of some politicians, on 9 December 2010 the House of Commons voted to remove the cap on tuition fees. Opposition continues and although we are writing now in January 2011 with little expectation of a speedy reversal of the policy, we aim to explore the possibilities for WP in the new policy context. We start by considering some of the broader implications of the new funding system and go on to focus on the ethical questions and dilemmas raised by the radical policy changes being imposed on HE in the United Kingdom.
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Keywords: Widening participation; ethics; funding; higher education; inequalities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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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