Research and Analysis: School-Level Strategies to Raise Aspirations to Higher Education


Research report (UK), January 2014
Research looking at the most effective ways of encouraging high-achieving, disadvantaged pupils into higher education.
Despite increased participation in higher education, there is still a marked gap between disadvantaged students and other students. A report by the Institute of Education (Department of Quantitative Social Science) found, “young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are five times less likely to enter university than their more advantaged peers”. P8-9
Studies have shown that attainment, aspirations and motivation to higher education are inextricably linked, intervention requires:

  • One-to-one relationships with staff
  • Student ambassadors or alumni
  • Parents on board
  • Earlier intervention
  • High quality careers advice from an earlier age
  • Work experience and work-related learning
  • Focused mentoring
  • The importance of a key individual with specific responsibilities for coordinating this work.

This paper looks into:

  • Aspiration-raising strategies and activities
  • Raising aspirations to apply for leading universities
  • Perceived barriers and challenges to aspiration-raising activities
  • Monitoring outcomes for students by schools
  • Funding activities
  • Conclusions

Find the paper here

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