Few topics have raised as much heat recently as that of fair access. If, in Sir David Watson’s words, there are two issues in relation to widening participation – the big question of increasing the participation of people from disadvantaged backgrounds; and the smaller question of which university they go to when in higher education – the prominence given to the latter appears odd. However, given that the broader question of widening participation is more intractable, and is not anyway largely within the power of universities to resolve, the focus of external commentators and politicians on the ‘smaller’ question is perhaps unsurprising. This seminar will consider different perspectives on this question and the realities, political imperatives and constraints that relate to it.
Speakers: David Lammy MP, Minister Of State For Lifelong Learning and Higher Education (subject to diary commitments); Professor Malcolm Grant, Provost of University College London; Professor Sir Martin Harris, Director of the Office of Fair Access