University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Widening Participation in Higher Education in Rural Communities: an Anchor Institution Model

Elliott, Geoffrey (2017) Widening Participation in Higher Education in Rural Communities: an Anchor Institution Model. International Review of Education. ISSN 0020-8566 (In Press)

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Against a UK policy background of attempts to widen participation in higher education in a socially inclusive direction, this article aims to bring together theory, policy and practice to understand why past attempts have had only limited success and to propose an alternative possibility: an anchor institution model. The model has been developed to meet the particular needs of mature women students who wish and need to study part-time in a rural, coastal and isolated area of south-west England. A university and a private training provider are the principal partners in this venture. Whereas the idea of anchor institutions has been used in government social policy, and in higher education to promote knowledge transfer, it has not hitherto been adopted as a widening participation method. The research is conducted within an interpretivist theoretical framework, and accesses the student voice to illustrate the character of education required, through a range of semi-structured qualitative interviews on a range of widening participation issues identified from the relevant theoretical literature and professional knowledge and experience. These include: student aspirations and destinations, motivations, access, learning experience, peer and tutor support. It is hoped the findings can inform the future development of adult higher vocational education provision in rural areas, where opportunities have, in the past, been very limited, and encourage further application of the anchor institution model for widening participation elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher Education, widening participation, lifelong learning, access, rural, anchor institutions
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Geoffrey Elliott
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2017 13:08
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2017 09:01

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