ERIC Number: EJ1083455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
Fair Access and Fee Setting in English Universities: What Do Institutional Statements Suggest about University Strategies in a Stratified Quasi-Market?
Bowl, Marion; Hughes, Jonathan
Studies in Higher Education, v41 n2 p269-287 2016
This paper explores how English universities operating in a "quasi-market" are managing the tension between two policy expectations: the first that they should encourage social mobility by widening the social base of their student population; the second that they should compete with other universities to attract students and thereby remain financially viable, within the context of a stratified higher education system. In doing so we draw on widening participation access agreements submitted to the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and other publicly available material produced by eight universities in one region of England to analyse how universities from different mission groups are responding to these conflicting demands. We explore the extent to which institutional and resource dependency theories offer a framework for analysing universities' responses to such policy uncertainty. We conclude that while institutional and resource dependency theories are a useful tool to understanding both conformity and variation in universities' responses, these responses are difficult to predict without also analysing the specifics of the historical and cultural context of any particular institution.
Descriptors: Access to Education, Educational Policy, Guidelines, Foreign Countries, Social Mobility, Cultural Context, Higher Education, Universities, Institutional Mission, Prediction, Fees, Profiles, Reputation, Student Recruitment, Educational Finance
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)