ERIC Number: ED476448
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Revisiting the Benefits of Higher Education. A Report by the Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies, Institute of Education.
Bynner, John; Dolton, Peter; Feinstein, Leon; Makepeace, Gerry; Malmberg, Lars; Woods, Laura
An earlier report presented preliminary findings on the wider benefits of higher education in England, drawing on data collected at age 33 from the National Child Development Study, based on a cohort born in 1958 and a sample of more than 16,000. This report updates the earlier conclusions through new findings from a more extensive analysis involving both the earlier study and the more recent 1970 British Cohort Study, in which 11,300 adults participated. This analysis incorporates data collected in 2000 to compare 30-year-olds in both studies and the 42-year-olds of the earlier study. Data demonstrated a rise in the number of graduates between the 1958 and 1970 cohorts, with much the same levels of mobility in both groups. Graduates were generally less depressed than nongraduates, and reported a sense of well being that was higher than that of people at lower qualification levels. Despite the expansion of the graduate population, there was little evidence of reduced benefits in the labor market for graduates. Graduates were significantly less likely to be unemployed over the period from age 25 to age 30 than were those with lower educational attainment. Graduates were still more likely to show upward social mobility, although this effect was reduced in the later cohort. Graduates were more tolerant toward other races, less accepting of authority, and less politically cynical. As a consequence, graduates were more likely to vote and were more likely to be involved in parent teacher associations. There was evidence that college graduates tended to read more to their children. All of these findings indicate that in terms of a political agenda that sees social cohesion as a primary goal, the expansion of higher education to produce more college graduates can only be seen as beneficial. Three appendixes contain information about educational categories, study methodology, and outcome variables. (Contains 2 tables, 43 figures, and 13 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, College Graduates, Educational Attainment, Employment Patterns, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Life Satisfaction, Parent Participation
Higher Education Funding Council for England, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QD England. Tel: 0117-931-7317; Fax: 0117-931-7203; Web site: www.hefce.ac.uk.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Higher Education Funding Council for England, Bristol.