ERIC Number: EJ1099800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
Understanding "Fairness" in Student Selection: Are There Differences and Does It Make a Difference Anyway?
Studies in Higher Education, v41 n7 p1203-1216 2016
Universities are required to adopt "fair" student admission practices, yet understandings of fairness in student selection are contested. This paper uses an analysis of the admission policies of Australia's public universities to critically examine the use and application of notions of fairness. A further analysis of enrolment data is used to contextualise policy rhetoric against admission practice. Three broad themes of fairness emerge: merit based, procedural and normative. Discursively, merit-based fairness is the preferred understanding of fairness. The enrolment data, however, indicate no relationship between how fairness is explicated and whether or not a university is more accessible to disadvantaged students. In practice, therefore, normative conceptualisations of fairness are the most influential, when normative fairness is understood as a reproduction of wider social inequities.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Admission Criteria, College Admission, Universities, Equal Education, Educational Opportunities, Access to Education, Educational Policy, School Policy, Social Justice, Enrollment, Economically Disadvantaged, Low Income Students, Discourse Analysis, Definitions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia