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Family Background and University SuccessDifferences in Higher Education Access and Outcomes in England$
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Claire Crawford, Lorraine Dearden, John Micklewright, and Anna Vignoles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689132.001.0001

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What Do We Conclude?

What Do We Conclude?

(p.141) 9 What Do We Conclude?
Family Background and University Success

Claire Crawford

Lorraine Dearden

John Micklewright

Anna Vignoles

Oxford University Press

Chapter 9 draws conclusions for government, universities, and young people and their families. The findings in the book are consistent with young people understanding that ‘income contingent’ loans are different to ‘mortgage-style’ loans and—with some differences—that they operate more like a graduate tax. To reduce socio-economic gaps in university entry, the key thing for governments and universities to do is to continue to improve attainment in school among children from poorer families, although universities should continue their outreach efforts to ensure that prospective students have enough information to make informed decisions. They may also want to consider ‘contextualized’ admissions: offers of places that take account of family background or school type. To ensure that higher education truly ‘levels the playing field’, however, attention must also be paid to reducing socio-economic differences in drop-out, degree class, and post-graduation outcomes.

Keywords:   Policy, government, universities, young people, income contingent loans, widening participation, attainment, schools, contextualized admissions, returns to degrees

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