Higher ambitions for fair access and work based learning.

Bravenboer, Darryll (2010) Higher ambitions for fair access and work based learning. In: Work based learning futures 4: Policy into practice?, 15th April 2010, Middlesex University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with the policy context of the idea of fair access to higher education. I argue that descriptions of this in official texts such as the Schwartz Report have operated to reinforce institutional autonomy in establishing how ‘fair access’ is constituted. Furthermore, that the lack of a ‘common currency’ for establishing fair access operates to legitimise reproductive methods of assessing merit and potential that are reliable but non-valid. I then recontextualise this analysis in consideration of how ‘fair access’ is constructed within the recent Department for Business, Innovation and Skills higher education strategy document Higher Ambitions. In particular, I focus on the description of work based learning as a means to provide more flexible routes into higher education. I argue that this description of work based learning also operates to reproduce a traditional model of higher education institutions as gate-keepers that determine what counts as fair access. I conclude by constructing a description of the recognition of work based learning as a reliable and valid mode of assessing merit and potential that is not in tension with institutional autonomy and is, as such, impartial.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:Institute for Work Based Learning
ID Code:6394
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Deposited On:17 Aug 2010 09:54
Last Modified:26 Jul 2014 23:27

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