Credentialism, adults and part-time higher education in the United Kingdom: an account of rising take up and some implications for policy


Fuller, Alison (2001) Credentialism, adults and part-time higher education in the United Kingdom: an account of rising take up and some implications for policy. Journal of Education Policy, 16, (3), 233-248. (doi:10.1080/02680930110041042).

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Description/Abstract

This paper focuses on, and helps to explain, the growing importance of higher level qualifications for adults in the UK. It highlights statistical trends in their take up of qualifications, particularly, as the result of taking part-time courses in higher education. Recent figures indicate that most part-time students at undergraduate level fund their own tuition fees: I interpret this finding as an indicator of individual demand. The article goes on to draw on a qualitative study of mature students to identify some of the issues which lie behind the statistics. I suggest that insights into the rising take up of HE can be gained from considering the backgrounds and perspectives of mature students themselves, their changing relationship to qualifying and how their return-to-study decisions relate to the contemporary socio-economic context. The paper concludes by reminding policy makers of the challenge of widening access to HE for disadvantaged groups and briefly focuses on the potential of the new foundation degree to address this issue.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0268-0939 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Lifelong and Work-Related Learning
ePrint ID: 9770
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2004
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:01
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9770

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