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Improving equality of opportunity in higher education through the adoption of an Inclusive Curriculum Framework

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Within higher education, inclusion of students from diverse nations, socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds is vital for social mobility and economic development. Despite some international successes in widening participation, inequalities in student experiences and differentials in degree attainment for traditionally underrepresented groups, remain a major challenge. Institutional approaches to inclusion that value diversity as an inherent source of learning are underdeveloped. This paper adds theoretical insights and evidence to the debate on inclusive curricula by showing the benefits of institutional change through a strategic approach and innovation in practice (case studies). We argue that the Inclusive Curriculum Framework (ICF), underpinned by core principles of inclusion, can enhance equality of opportunity all the way through the student journey. The paper innovatively and rigorously bridges theory and practice in relation to inclusivity in learning and teaching and student success. It describes early and positive impact at Kingston University, adoption and spread in other institutions in England and potential international relevance.
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Keywords: BME ATTAINMENT GAP; EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY; INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM; SOCIAL MOBILITY; STUDENT DIVERSITY; WIDENING PARTICIPATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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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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