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ERIC Number: EJ1117623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-9072
Getting into Higher Education: Young People's Views of Fairness
Minty, Sarah
Scottish Educational Review, v48 n1 p48-62 2016
Free tuition in Scotland is frequently linked to principles of equal access and fairness. But just how "fair" do young people think access to higher education is? And what concepts of fairness are their views based on? This article reports the findings of semi-structured interviews with 121 young people aged 15-18 in Scotland. The paper outlines the position of those who felt access was equal for all, where meritocratic ideas of hard work, motivation and individual ability were paramount, versus those who believed that access is inherently unequal and based on socio-economic background and school attended. The majority of young people conceptualised fairness on the basis of equality of procedure, with many perceiving contextual admissions to be an "unfair" form of discrimination. Findings point to the need for better communication of the rationale behind contextual admissions and greater discussion of social justice issues in schools more broadly.
Scottish Educational Review. School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, Scotland, UK. e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A