Governments have introduced policies to widen the participation of disadvantaged students in higher education. Widening participation policies are also introduced to ensure that higher education contributes to social and economic outcomes. This book includes important insights from 23 leading scholars across 11 countries on a wide range of topics that focus on government policies, institutional structures and the social and economic impacts of widening participation. While widening participation policies and outcomes in developed countries are more widely documented, the policies, achievements, and challenges in other countries such as Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Palestine are not so widely disseminated. Therefore, the ‘untold stories’ of policies and outcomes of widening participation are a key part of this book. The chapters are organised according to three overarching themes, which include national and transnational studies of the history of widening participation and current policies; inclusive learning and academic outcomes; and socioeconomic structures, concepts and theories.
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Mahsood Shah is an Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia. In this role Mahsood is responsible for strengthening research capacity with staff who are engaged in teaching open access courses to young and mature age students from various equity groups. His area of research strength include: quality in higher education, student experience, student feedback, student retention and attrition, student engagement in quality assurance, and private higher education. Prior to joining the University of Newcastle, Mahsood led strategic planning and quality assurance in a number of Australian universities and private higher education providers.
Anna Bennett is Convenor of the University of Newcastle’s adult enabling program, which is open entry and enables people to qualify for entry into various degree programs across Australia. Dr. Bennett has a PhD in Sociology and applies sociological theory and concepts to better understand social and educational phenomena. She utilises mixed-methods, works in multi-disciplinary teams and is involved in a range of research projects about complex issues. In particular, Dr. Bennett draws on Foucauldian methodology.
Erica Southgate is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle (UoN). For over two decades she has conducted qualitative social research in the areas of education and health, with a focus social disadvantage and marginalisation. Erica is interested in applying feminist poststructural and Foucauldian social theory to complex social issues. Erica’s recent publications have focused on the role of emotion and sociality in qualitative research, deconstructing widening participation policy in Australian higher education, and social class, schooling and educational aspiration and pathways.
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