Foskett, Rosalind and Johnston, Brenda
'A uniform seemed the obvious thing': experiences of careers guidance amongst potential HE participants
Journal of Further and Higher Education, 34, (2), . (doi:10.1080/03098771003695486).
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The growth of higher education is a global phenomenon and provides challenges for educational leaders in schools and universities. Raising aspiration and participation requires an understanding of the sources of advice and information available to potential participants and how these are used when they decide whether or not to participate.
This article draws on a qualitative study using social network analysis undertaken in England. This study examined the nature of decision making amongst individuals who have chosen not to participate in higher education despite possessing the qualifications and experience which would enable them to be admitted to a university programme. The research sought to identify their decision-making processes within the 'networks of intimacy' that are their family, friends and significant individuals in their educational and/or working environments, past or present. Lying at the heart of the research is the belief that, in social network analysis, it is the interpersonal relationships rather than the individuals that form the unit of analysis.
This article examines the role of information, advice and guidance (IAG) on individuals when they make the decision whether or not to participate in higher education. It considers the experience that individuals had at school, and explores their career decision making engaged in outside the school environment, and beyond the age of 18. It spells out the implications for educational leaders and managers in schools and universities as well as policy makers concerned about improving participation rates in all sectors of the community.
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