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ERIC Number: EJ794900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
A Critique of Institutional Inequalities in Higher Education: (Or an Alternative to Hypocrisy for Higher Educational Policy)
Leathwood, Carole
Theory and Research in Education, v2 n1 p31-48 2004
This article seeks to apply Adam Swift's (2003) critique of private and selective schooling to higher education in the UK. The higher education sector in this country is highly differentiated, with high status, research-led elite institutions at the top of the university hierarchy, and newer universities, with far lower levels of funding and prestige, at the bottom. The extent of this differentiation is illustrated by an analysis of six universities at different ends of this spectrum. It also becomes apparent that the student profiles of these institutions are very different, with privately educated, white, middle class students particularly over-represented in the elite universities, and working-class, minority ethnic, and to some extent, women students concentrated in those institutions with far lower levels of funding and prestige. Considerable benefits accrue to those who have attended the elite institutions, and it is argued that the hierarchy of universities both reflects and perpetuates social inequalities, with the middle-classes retaining their privileges and the elite continuing to reproduce itself. The discourse of meritocracy that is used to justify this institutional differentiation is also discussed, and the paper concludes with a call for a more socially just and equitable future for the higher education sector. (Contains 2 tables and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom