Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pedro Nuno Teixeira (Editor-in-Chief), Jung-Cheol Shin (Editor-in-Chief)

Access to and Widening Participation in Higher Education

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_47-1

Widening Access and participation (WP) has emerged as a major policy concern in a number of national contexts. It is connected to longer histories over struggles for the right to higher education, to concerns for greater fairness in society, and to ensuring that higher education is more equitable and inclusive. It is also shaped by the growing diversification of student constituencies that have resulted from higher education expansion over the later decades of the twentieth century. In the English context, during the period of the New Labour Government (1997–2010), widening participation, often shorthanded as “WP,” gained discursive hegemony, and this discourse has gained momentum internationally. However, the concept of “widening participation” is highly contested within and across different national contexts, and there is no one agreed definition.

The different meanings circulating from policies of WP are often implicit, while assumptions are often made about a common or universal...


High Education High Education System Widening Participation Fair Access High Education Expansion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher EducationThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia