Access, Sustainability and Success in Higher Education Continues to be a Global Struggle – Interrogating the Disjuncture Between Policy and Practice.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)
RC04 Sociology of Education (host committee)

Language: English

Mass participation in higher education and the appalling attrition and failure rate globally must force a critical interrogation of policy and practice with respect to the politically and socially correct policies on widening access to higher education and its uneasy relationship with ensuring sustainability and success. Ian Scott (2014) argues that the “predictors” are dismally consistent across many contexts. Students’ socio-economic background is directly linked to their chances of success (Bourdieu and Passerson, 1971, and Walpole, 2003), as cited by Scott (2014). Therefore, the key area of contestation applies to a system of higher education made up of organisations that perpetuate class inequality with a dubious understanding of the diversity of its student population and the pre-conceived notions of their ability to compete equally and successfully with their counterparts from other racial and socio-economic groups; such notions deliberately sustain the status quo with little effort at reforming embedded and intransigent traditions that have come to characterise institutions of higher learning.

This session therefore intends to focus on the following:

  • Is mass participation in higher education sustainable?
  • Can institutions of higher learning attribute the level of success to social class and absolve themselves from responding to the needs of students in terms of how they teach, what they teach and why they teach what they teach?
  • Do institutions of higher learning link their vision and missions to the broader societal imperatives of development?
Session Organizer:
Shaheeda ESSACK, Nat Dept Higher Education & Training, South Africa
Making It Fit: Institutional Variations in Access and Success Policies
Jon RAINFORD, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom
Policies for Expansion of Higher Education and Practical Institutional Barriers
Maria Ligia BARBOSA, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
E-Qualified : An in-Depth Investigation of an Innovative Post-Graduate Program at a Greek University
Dionysios GOUVIAS, University of the Aegean, Greece; Marios VRYONIDES, European University of Cyprus, Cyprus
The Dualism Between Mass Participation and Inequality in Mexican Higher Education
Judith PEREZ-CASTRO, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico