What factors influence Fair Access students to consider university and what do they look for

Heaslip, VA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2037-4002, Hewitt-Taylor, J, Alexander, P, Ellis-Hill, C and Seibert-Santos, C 2015, 'What factors influence Fair Access students to consider university and what do they look for' , Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 17 (4) , pp. 67-88.

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This paper reports the findings of a participatory mixed methods study into the perceptions of Fair Access students on the factors which led them to consider accessing Higher Education. The study consisted of focus groups with thirteen first year Fair Access Students (female n=9, male n=4) studying at Bournemouth University. The data was analysed thematically, identifying five themes (what others say, going to university to escape, influence of habitus, location and what the university offered). These five themes formed the basis of a Likert-type questionnaire which was completed by 239 students (n=168 Fair Access, n=71 non-Fair Access). It was evident that students from Fair Access backgrounds have the same high aspirations as their non-Fair Access counterparts, as do their families. However they can be discouraged and disadvantaged in the application system due to a variety of reasons: discouragement within compulsory education (perceptions of teachers as well as a lack of careers advice and support); intuitional habitus of Higher Education Institutions (provision of pre-access information and support); and not identifying themselves as coming from a Widening Participation (WP) background, thus reducing the likelihood of a contextual offer. All of these could impact on the ability of an individual from a WP background being successful in obtaining a place to study in Higher Education.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Publisher: Centre for Widening Participation
ISSN: 1466-6529
Depositing User: VA Heaslip
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 11:37
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 11:37
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/65284

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