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Widening participation in Australia: lessons on equity, standards, and institutional leadership

McKay, Jade and Devlin, Marcia 2016, Widening participation in Australia: lessons on equity, standards, and institutional leadership. In Shah, Mahsood, Bennett, Anna and Southgate, Erica (ed), Widening higher education participation: a global perspective, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp.161-179, doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100213-1.00010-X.

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Title Widening participation in Australia: lessons on equity, standards, and institutional leadership
Author(s) McKay, Jade
Devlin, Marcia
Title of book Widening higher education participation: a global perspective
Editor(s) Shah, Mahsood
Bennett, Anna
Southgate, Erica
Publication date 2016
Chapter number 10
Total chapters 15
Start page 161
End page 179
Total pages 19
Publisher Elsevier
Place of Publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Keyword(s) widening participation
higher education
academic standards
low SES background students
rquity versus standards
Summary Widening participation movements inevitably give rise to discussions of the false dichotomy between equity and standards. The assumption is that by allowing differently prepared students into university and thereby improving equity, standards are somehow compromised. A recent national Australian study examined effective teaching and support of university students from low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds from the conceptual framework of bridging sociocultural incongruity rather than from a deficit perspective that assumes lower standards are operating. This chapter outlines the findings from that study of relevance to institutional leaders and policy makers. It draws on the rich qualitative data to show that, contrary to claims of lowered standards, students from low socio-economic backgrounds are high achievers who both expect and want high academic standards. It argues that the dichotomy between equity and standards is premised on an assumption of deficit in, and fundamental lack of respect for, students from diverse backgrounds which undermines the widening participation agenda. Where the false dichotomy exists in institutions, a situation is created which mitigates against LSES students feeling empowered to achieve high academic standards and overall success. It presents the key factors for empowering students from low socio-economic backgrounds to achieve academic success of the highest standard.
ISBN 9780081002469
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-08-100213-1.00010-X
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, The Editors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085434

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Department of Accounting
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