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Uj seminar 2017

presentation by Lisa Lucas at the SOTL @ UJ Seminar Series on Social Justice in Higher Education

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Uj seminar 2017

  1. 1. Access and Equity in Higher Education: an International Perspective Dr Lisa Lucas Graduate School of Education University of Bristol Contact: Lisa.Lucas@bristol.ac.uk
  2. 2. Bristol, England The University of Bristol
  3. 3. Session Outline  Introduction  Access and Equity in Higher Education?  EC ACCESS4ALL Project  WUN ‘Challenges of Access and Equity’ Project  ESRC/NRF SARiHE Project  Some Discussion Points
  4. 4. About Me…  Sociologist (Glasgow, York, Warwick)  Research Assistant - Oxford Centre for Staff Development (Professor Graham Gibbs) in 1990s  Research Fellow – Education and Professional Development, University College London, 2001-2002  Lecturer/Senior Lecturer – Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 2002-
  5. 5. Funding and Evaluation Policies in Higher Education  Impacts of RAE/REF on university management and academic work  Global league tables and the idea of the World Class University  Academics responses to Policy Change in Higher Education
  6. 6. Academic Work, Early Career Academics and Doctoral Education  Doctoral education in the Social Sciences and Sciences  Donald Bligh project on Early Career Researchers into Higher Education  Australia/UK collaboration on Academic Work, Careers and Identity
  7. 7. Access and Equity in Higher Education  WUN – Challenges of Access and Equity: the curriculum answers back  EU – ACCESS4ALL with a Consortium of 7 European countries.  Southern African Rurality in Higher Education (SARiHE) – SA/UK Partnership
  8. 8. Access and Equity  “The promotion of social mobility through university credentials is becoming a challenge in both developed and emerging economies…” (Mok & Neubauer, 2016)
  9. 9. Access4All- Laboratory for Policies and Practices of Social Development in Higher Education (2015 1 ES01 KA203 015970)‐ ‐ ‐ ‐
  10. 10. Background
  11. 11. EC ERASMUS+ Project – “ACCESS4ALL”  There are 4 specific objectives:  to establish a map of the institutional policies for attending to under represented groups in relation to academic access and success  to establish guidelines to be implemented by higher education organisations to promote initiatives aimed to encourage the access and successful development of students who are under-represented in universities  to co-create strategies and measures promoting the access, continuation (and success) of vulnerable students and non-traditional learners at university  to create a laboratory for the creation of innovative and flexible strategies in order to promote the commitment of Higher Education institutions to the most vulnerable student groups  http://access4allproject.eu/
  12. 12. Consortium
  13. 13. A4A Toolkit A4A Training package
  14. 14. ACCESS4ALL – ‘Good Practices’ Database and Formal Criteria  A FORMAL CRITERIA  A1. ACCESS TO INFORMATION:  A2. TIMEFRAME:  A3. NUMBER OF STUDENTS:  A4. SCALABILITY: Has it been or can it potentially be scaled up and practiced in a wider scale?  A5. TRANSFERABILITY: Has it been or can it potentially be transferred and applied to different (a) target groups, (b) institutions, and (c) societies?  A6. ASSESSMENT: How has it been evaluated?  A7. CONTACT
  15. 15. ACCESS4ALL – ‘Good Practices’ Database Content Criteria (incl - ‘Social Justice Principles’)  B CONTENT CRITERIA  B1. SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLES (see Nelson & Creagh, 2013):  B1.1 Self-determination: Have students participated to its (a) design, (b) enactment and (c) evaluation? Is it possible to make informed decisions about the participation?  B1.2 Rights: Are all participants treated with dignity and respect? How have their individual cultural, social and knowledge systems been recognised and valued?  B1.3 Access: Has an active and impartial access to the resources (e.g., curriculum, learning, academic, social, cultural, support, and financial resources) been provided?  B1.4 Equity: Does it openly demystify and decode dominant university cultures, processes, expectations and language for differently prepared cohorts?  B1.5 Participation: Has it led to socially inclusive practices?  B2. COLLABORATION:  B3. STUDENT SATISFACTION:  B.4 STUDENT WELLBEING:
  16. 16. A4A Self-Assessment Tool
  17. 17. ACCESS4ALL Template for Inclusion – ‘Pyramid Inclusion Model’  Environment - what do we have (including context, policies, practices, stakeholders and resources)?  Aspirations - what do we want (what are our aspirations as an HEI for inclusion)?  Evaluation - how will be evaluate our activities and practices?
  18. 18. ACCESS4ALL – Next Steps  Developing the ‘training programme’ for staff at each university  Trialling of the training programme in Summer 2017 (mix of online and face to face activities)  Dissemination Activities with key stakeholders  Multiplier events  Conferences
  19. 19. WUN – Challenges of Access and Equity: the curriculum answers back
  20. 20. Introduction – WUN Project  Worldwide University Network (WUN) project involving four countries – Australia (Dr Tai Peseta, University of Sydney, lead partner), New Zealand, South Africa and England.  Concern to explore the concepts of access and equity through ‘curriculum’ in two relatively under-represented areas – doctoral education and academic professional learning.  Guiding Research Questions  How is curriculum conceptualised in doctoral education and academics’ professional learning?  What understanding of access and equity are driving decisions about higher education curriculum in doctoral education and academics’ professional learning?  How do people involved in shaping doctoral education and academic professional learning contexts understand themselves and others in relation to access and equity?
  21. 21. WUN Project – access and equity in higher education: the curriculum answers back Gale (2014) points to the OECD’s urging of its member states to expand HE participation so as to increase the number of knowledge workers, bolster economies and maintain a competitive advantage against other (non-OECD) economies such as China. Whatever the motivator, the aspiration “presumes that current forms of HE constitute a universal good and that equity can simply be achieved by extending equal opportunity for access to all” “Although the tendency in HE policy has been “to see equity in terms of just access, rather than to consider what is being accessed” (Gale, 2014, p.15), our analysis suggests that the issue of access and equity may be moving into new territory at least in the three post-colonial societies discussed here (if not in the metropole, where the moves may be more limited).”
  22. 22. Access and Equity in Doctoral Education  “Diversity, then, should feature prominently in conversations about the changing nature of doctoral education. Who is involved in the process is just as important as the process itself” (Holley, 2013: 100)  “Issues of social equity remain high on policy agendas across the UK…access to education has long been seen as one of the key areas by which social equity can be measured” (McCulloch & Thomas, 2013: 2016)  Doctoral Education as an ‘Elite’ Forum  “Participation in postgraduate study, especially research degrees, does appear to be heavily skewed towards those from higher socio-economic backgrounds” (HEPI, 2010 cited McCulloch & Thomas, 2013: 219)  There are “major gaps in our knowledge of doctoral education” (ibid)  ‘Curriculum’ appears not to be given attention
  23. 23. Curriculum: ‘a tangle of content and pedagogy’  Curriculum - “…a structure of knowledge, identity and pedagogy…” (Green, 2012: 16)  “Alongside such an explicit curriculum, there are many more or less hidden processes that mould the research student into a recognizable scholar/researcher/advanced professional – that one noun won’t suffice is suggestive of the multiple outcomes sought from the research education and consequently the multiple sources from which curriculum flows. These include messy affective processes… that are often unacknowledged in higher education generally. And, to return to an earlier point, if we think of curriculum as what is currently known, there is the expectation that the doctoral student will produce an original insight or finding. In other words, she or he will redefine the existing boundaries of curriculum-as-knowledge, of what could be taught in the future.” (Grant, 2011: 260)  ‘A Living Curriculum’ (Keesing-Styles et al, 2014: 498) – “reframe learning as a ‘conversation’ and develop programmes that are integrated with the world and genuinely dynamic”
  24. 24. Methodology  Focus Group Discussions within one Faculty of Social Sciences  Focus Group A –5 Doctoral Researchers (Lucy, Ingrid, Diane, Soo-jin,Trinh )  Focus Group B – 6 Doctoral Researchers (Luis, Tomasz, Sofia, Annabel, Saira and Maria)  3 (UK) and 8 (EU and International)  2 (male) 9 (female)  9 (funded) and 2 (self-funded)  All in 2nd 3rd or 4th year of study  Exploratory questions focused on their perceptions of access and equity and their idea of participation within a doctoral curriculum  Thematic analysis
  25. 25. Curriculum - Themes  Importance of doctoral researchers in determining curriculum “We have a lot of knowledge and background that we’re not sharing with the University in terms of experience…it’s (the University) losing opportunities to learn and the School is much, much richer and interesting because of people than is in the curricula or the official curricula” (Luis)  Desire to ‘legitimize’ or ‘support’ aspects of informal learning “We did do it for about six months where we set up sessions and then people were going to speak about an item of their research because a couple of us organised it and it was just, I think the feeling that sometimes people didn’t come along to it, couldn’t all get together at the same time… people were under pressure” (Diane)
  26. 26. Preliminary Conclusions  Access and Equity in Doctoral Education  Perceived lack of transparency in admissions procedures  Funding crucial to access and opportunities during study  Struggles with differentiation of languages and cultures and feelings of inadequacy  Doctoral Education – ‘a living curriculum’  ‘Curriculum’ not on their radar (initially)  Want the elements of formal taught programme to continue throughout the doctorate  Greater involvement for doctoral researcher in determining the curriculum  Greater support and legitimization of ‘informal’ curriculum activities  Greater access to courses and opportunities across the university and elsewhere
  27. 27. Barrow, M. et al (in review) Access and Equity in higher education – moving consideration from access bodies to embodiment  We trace out four national framings of access and equity in HE by analysing government and institutional policy documents from Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa and the institutional policies of a single research-intensive university in each of them.  In South Africa the Draft Social Inclusion Policy Framework recommends a range of mandatory structural, financial and curriculum interventions be implemented across HE. The content-focused suggestions call on universities and colleges to: “develop and implement anti-racism and citizenship curricular and extra-curricular education programmes” (p. 16); expand content by including programmes that deal with “gender in education” (p. 16); include issues relevant to the LGBTI community (p. 17); and use curricula “to promote awareness of HIV and AIDS” (p. 17). In this policy setting, the curriculum is now seen as a site for responding to equity groupings and issues previously excluded or overlooked.
  28. 28. Barrow, M. et al (in review) Access and Equity in higher education – moving consideration from access bodies to embodiment  “It is, however, interesting that even in the elite ‘new-world’ institutions we considered, there are invitations to introduce a new type of curriculum that is not copied from metropolitan forebears and that instead of only framing the debate in terms of ‘problem’ students in need of special treatment in order to enter (and succeed in) HE, there are some small but vibrant policy invitations for new kinds of substantive curriculum – curriculum previously excluded from the academy.”
  29. 29. Southern African Rurality in Higher Education (SARiHE) Project
  30. 30. ESRC/Newton&NRF - SARiHE Project  To understand the practices, challenges and opportunities for students from rural areas accessing and participating in higher education in Southern Africa. We are also exploring how curricula, which remain imbued with colonialism, can be reimagined and reconfigured to build on and value all (including rural) HE student experiences.
  31. 31. ESRC/Newton&NRF - SARiHE Project  The SARiHE project is conducting research over several stages. We have adopted a participatory methodology, which can be argued to be a ‘decolonising’ mode (Bozalek and Biersteker, 2011), as it avoids a deficit positioning of under-represented students.  Co-researchers are:  Collecting accounts of everyday practices in the form of digital documentaries.  Contributing to discussions and focus groups  Contributing to data analysis.  Participating in presentations and academic writing, and publishing both on the website and in print.
  32. 32. ESRC/Newton&NRF - SARiHE Project  Data Collection with University Staff  Individual interviews will be held with the Deputy Vice Chancellor for learning and teaching and the Dean of Students (or equivalents).  Focus groups with six academics (Humanities and STEM) will be held in each institution. Interviews will explore with institutional representatives how institutions manage access, support under-represented students and the issues around rurality.
  33. 33. Some Discussion Points  Challenges of access for under-represented groups?  Developing an inclusive university culture and an inclusive curriculum?  The role of educational and staff development?
  34. 34. References  Barrow, M. et al… (in review) Access and Equity in higher education – moving consideration from access bodies to embodiment, Critical Studies in Education.  Basit, T.N. & Tomlinson, S. (2012) Social Inclusion and Higher Education, Bristol, Policy Press.  Brew, A. & Lucas, L. (2009) (Eds) Academic Research and Researchers, Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press.  Brew, A., Boud, D., Namgung, S, Lucas, L. & Crawford, K. (2016) Research productivity and academics’ conceptions of research, Higher Education. 71, 5: 681-697.  Dovigo F. et al (2016) (edited) Higher Education in Finland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and UK: A brief overview, ACCESS4ALL,  Frølich, N., Huisman, J. (2013) A re-interpretation of institutional transformations in European higher education: strategising pluralistic organisations in multiplex environments, Higher Education, 65: 79-93.  Gale, T. (2014). Reimagining student equity and aspiration in a global higher education field. In H. Zhang., P.W.K Chan & C. Boyle (Eds.), Equality in Education: fairness and inclusion (p. 9-22). Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  35. 35. References  Keesing-Styles, L., Nash, S. & Atres, R. (2014) Managing Curriculum change and ‘ontological uncertainty’ in tertiary education, Higher Education Research and Development, 33, 3: 496-509.  Lucas, L. (2006) The Research Game in Academic Life, Maidenhead: SRHE/Open University Press.  Lucas, L. (2009) Research Management and Research Cultures: power and productivity in Brew, A. & Lucas, L. (eds) Academic Research and Researchers, Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press.  Lucas, L. (2015) Performance Based Research Assessment in Higher Education, Oxford Bibliographies.  Lucas, L. (2014) Academic Resistance in the UK: challenging quality assurance processes in higher education, Policy and Society, 33: 215-224.  Lucas, L. (2017) Evaluating Academic Research: ambivalence, anxiety and audit in the risk university, S, Shore, C & Wright, S. (2016) Managing the Risk University, Oxford, Berghahn Books.  Wray, M. (2013) Developing an Inclusive Culture in Higher Education: final report, York: Higher Education Academy

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presentation by Lisa Lucas at the SOTL @ UJ Seminar Series on Social Justice in Higher Education

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