Policy and practice in widening participation: a six country comparative study of access as flexibility

Osborne, M. (2003) Policy and practice in widening participation: a six country comparative study of access as flexibility. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22(1), pp. 43-58. (doi: 10.1080/02601370304826)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370304826


Widening participation to higher education (HE) is central to the educational policies of countries throughout the world, and takes the form of a range of types of intervention, which can be classified within a three-fold typology. Access as <i>in-reach</i> refers to those programmes that prioritize recruiting potential students into the institution—examples include adult Access courses and certain summer school provisions for school-leavers. Access as <i>out-reach</i> is typified by efforts to widen participation and involve partnerships with one or more of employers, schools and the wider community. Alongside in-reach and out-reach exist a number of initiatives that can neither be categorized primarily as either of these, but focus on transformations and adjustments to the structure, administration and delivery of HE programmes. The third category of Access as <i>flexibility</i> refers to systematic as against discrete provision and includes such structural arrangements such as the use of accreditation of prior learning (APL), open and distance learning and the use of information and communications technology (ICT). In this paper—based on research commissioned by the Scottish Executive—policies and practices from Australia, Canada, England, Finland and France are compared and analysed with particular focus being given to flexibility. The implications of these policies and practices and their potential transferability to Scotland are considered.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Osborne, Professor Michael
Authors: Osborne, M.
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:International Journal of Lifelong Education
ISSN (Online):1464-519X
Published Online:11 November 2010

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