Student inequality due to elitist structures claims book

July 21, 2000

A new book claims that the only way to increase the proportion of students from non-traditional backgrounds is to tackle the elitist structures still lingering in universities, writes Alison Utley.

Liz Thomas, director of the Institute for Access Studies at Staffordshire University and co-editor of the book, said that if higher education is to provide a route out of social exclusion, universities must change radically.

"Social inclusion is not just a matter of general principles and strategies. Special measures are needed," she said. "Proposing policies and initiatives without challenging a narrow framework of learning is self-defeating, perpetuating a form of education to serve the needs of an economy, which is iniquitous."

Staff in universities are still predominantly white males, she said, with few role models for ethnic minority students. Admissions policies are dominated by A-level scores, which discriminate against non-traditional students.

"The UK government and other European governments expect education to contribute to creating routes from exclusion to inclusion. If higher education in particular is to do this, elitist structures must be challenged and the non-economic returns to education must be taken into account."

Changing the Culture of the Campus: Towards an Inclusive Higher Education, edited by Liz Thomas and Michael Cooper, Staffordshire University Press with the European Access Initiative, ISBN 1 897898 65 7.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns