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Higher Education

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 615–628 | Cite as

Managerialism and equalities: tensions within widening access policy and practice for disabled students in UK universities

  • Sheila Riddell
  • Elisabet Weedon
  • Mary Fuller
  • Mick Healey
  • Alan Hurst
  • Katie Kelly
  • Linda Piggott
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

This paper draws on a four-year longitudinal ESRC funded project examining learning experiences of disabled students in higher education in four universities. The focus here is on institutional responses to the demands of audit culture and legislation in relation to making reasonable adjustments for students with impairments. The data comes from institutional documents and face-to-face interviews with key informants within the institutions. The findings indicate that quality assurance regimes and legislation have had some positive effect on improving access for disabled students; however, local factors and type of institution also have a major impact on the way that national policies are expressed in particular contexts.

Keywords

Disabled students Equalities Legislation Managerialism Policy Widening access 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on the work of ‘‘Enhancing the Quality and Outcomes of Disabled Students’ Learning in Higher Education.’’ This is a four-year research project funded from January 2004 to December 2007 by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (reference RES-139-25-0135) as part of Phase III of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (see http://www.tlrp.org).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila Riddell
    • 1
  • Elisabet Weedon
    • 1
  • Mary Fuller
    • 2
  • Mick Healey
    • 2
  • Alan Hurst
    • 3
  • Katie Kelly
    • 2
  • Linda Piggott
    • 4
  1. 1.CREID, Simon Laurie House, Moray House School of EducationUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.University of GloucestershireCheltenham, GlosUK
  3. 3.University of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  4. 4.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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