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Addressing male higher education progression: A profile of four successful projects

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Despite recent progress in widening participation, males from poorer backgrounds remain less likely to progress to higher education than their counterparts from more affluent families or, indeed, than females from the same backgrounds as them. It is a subject that has received a considerable amount of attention in recent years, featuring in government surveys, news reports and academic studies. Although a seemingly intractable problem when viewed at the level of UK-wide trends, this article profiles four innovative projects that have enjoyed local success in tackling the low progression rates to higher education of males from poorer backgrounds. While these projects vary in scale, content and approach, and are located in different parts of the country, they are shown to have shared a number of characteristics that underpin their individual success. Having explored each of these characteristics in turn, the article concludes by suggesting that these findings, and the lessons that can be drawn from them, should be of value to researchers and policy makers, as well as the practitioners who oversee initiatives aimed at widening participation.
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Keywords: higher education; male; progression; widening participation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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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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