Barriers to Accessing Higher Education

  • Catherine A. Marshall


This chapter considers the different groups of people that are under-represented in higher education (HE) and some of the reasons for this under-representation. These reasons can be classified into three major groups: poor education resulting from lack of cultural capital, recruitment practices which reproduce a stratified society and alienation from the dominant culture caused by a dominated habitus. Despite differing opinions about the extent of the under-representation or the extent to which this is linked to social mobility, there is some recognition that the current system is not right for ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone. If widening participation (WP) initiatives in HE are to be successful they need to address the problems of cultural capital, recruitment bias and learner alienation.


Cultural Capital Disadvantaged Student Lower Socioeconomic Group Disadvantaged Background Lower Socioeconomic Background 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine A. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundation CentreUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK

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