Past Event details

Student Access and Experience Network Launch: Access / Participation / Beyond

Friday, 28 February 2020

Launching SRHE’s new Student Access and Experience Network, this event highlights how we aim to focus on key issues around the whole student lifecycle. Starting with questions around access and the history of university outreach programmes, the event will outline the contentions around theory and practice in targeting interventions to specific groups of students. The seminar then extends this conversation into issues of student participation and success and the role of higher education institutions within that. Finally, the event provides an opportunity to explore inequalities in graduate outcomes.

Abstracts and biographies

Tensions, Contradictions and Perpetual Loose Ends - 'Widening Participation' in HE Policy

Dr Julian Crockford, PhD. University of Sheffield Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit Manager

Social mobility and fair access is an area that no Government can afford not to address, at least in terms of providing lipservice (Bowl 2019). In this session, Julian will provide an overview of the tensions and contradictions that emerge for HE providers when attempting to respond to HE policy approaches to widening participation and fair access.

Julian's research interests are multiple and wide-ranging, but focus primarily on how widening participation and student success policies are implemented at an institutional level and how this intersects with forms of institutional and tacit knowledge, issues of effective and meaningful evaluation and how ‘impact’ can be defined and understood in this context, and the role of evaluation in policy discourse. 


From Cinderella to Queen Bee: Student Experience Research

Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, PhD. Imperial College London, Associate Professor of Education in the Centre for Higher Education Research & Scholarship (CHERS).

 This talk will reflect on the previous 10 years of the SRHE Student Experience Network events, and the extent to which they represent changing views about students in higher education. The changing agency of students through research about/with/for/on students in higher education research is explored, as well as the political framing of students within and beyond higher education. The future of research on “the student experience” and the shift to “students’ experiences” is debated and the political context for linking student access, participation and completion/success analysed.

Camille is an international expert in higher education research with a focus on student engagement; student outcomes and learning gain; quality, performance and accountability; and gender and prestige in academic work. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Vice-Chair of the SRHE Research & Development Committee and formerly was convenor of the Student Experience Network.


‘Talent-spotting’ or ‘social magic’? Inequality, cultural sorting and constructions of the ideal graduate in elite professions

Professor Nicola Ingram, Sheffield Hallam University, Professor of Sociology of Education in Sheffield Institute of Education

Dr Kim Allen, University of Leeds, University Academic Fellow in School of Sociology and Social Policy

This talk will concentrate on graduate outcomes – including rates of employment and earnings – as marked by persistent inequalities related to social class, as well as gender, ethnicity and institution, despite national policy agendas related to social mobility and ‘fair access to the professions’. Kim and Nicola will explain what the trends are, how they are reproduced, and provide indications of what needs to change in order to improve equity around graduate outcomes.

Nicola is broadly interested in social inequalities and education from secondary schooling to higher education and into the labour market in different national contexts.  Nicola has published widely reflecting on various aspects of these interests.

Kim’s research interests span a range of areas including youth studies, education, social class, celebrity studies and the sociology of media and popular culture. A feminist researcher, her work is informed by a commitment to social justice.

Network: The Student Access and Experience Network
Date(s): Friday, 28 February 2020
Times: 11.00-16.00
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE
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Event Files
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SAEN Launch Feb 2020
Dr Camille Kandiko Howson Associate Professor of Education
Talent-spotting or social magic
Nicola Ingram and Kim Allen
Tensions, Contradictions and Perpetual Loose Ends
Julian Crockford, University of Sheffield
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