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    Widening participation, social justice and injustice: part-time students in higher education in England

    Callender, Claire (2011) Widening participation, social justice and injustice: part-time students in higher education in England. International Journal of Lifelong Education 30 (4), pp. 469-487. ISSN 0260-1370.

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    Abstract

    This article critically assesses the nature and scope of current financial support for part-time undergraduates in England, highlighting its importance for widening participation. It considers the limitations of these financial arrangements, why they are in need of reform, and some of the consequences of their inadequacies. The paper argues that the system of support favours full-time HE at the expense of part-time. Consequently, there are now clear incentives for higher education institutions (HEIs) to grow their full-time programmes and run down their part-time provision. Thus, the current financial provision impedes the growth of part-time HE and reduces students’ opportunities for studying part-time and for lifelong learning, at a time when flexible provision is increasingly important for economic growth and recovery. The inadequacy of the financial support for part-time students leaves untouched the financial barriers to part-time HE participation. Together these issues undermine the goals of widening HE participation and social justice, and perpetuate inequalities within and across the HE sector in England.

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