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widening participation


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Encouraging people to enter further and higher education who have previously been under‐represented in these sectors. This includes people from a wider range of educational, social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, and from a wider range of abilities and skills. A drive to widen participation in post‐compulsory education and training is presented as part of the government's policy to create a more highly skilled workforce. To this end, specific targets were set in the 2006 White Paper Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances, which include: participation rates by 16–19‐year‐olds to increase by 15 per cent by 2015; the number of adults gaining a National Qualifications Framework level 2 qualification to reach at least 3.6 million by 2010; 50 per cent of all 18–30‐year‐olds to be participating in higher education by 2010.Concerns have been raised by some educationalists over the apparent contradiction at the heart of a policy which aims both to widen participation and at the same time to raise standards of achievement.

participation rates by 16–19‐year‐olds to increase by 15 per cent by 2015;

the number of adults gaining a National Qualifications Framework level 2 qualification to reach at least 3.6 million by 2010;

50 per cent of all 18–30‐year‐olds to be participating in higher education by 2010.

Widening participation and access is a focus for Scottish universities. In 2001 every higher education institution signed a seven‐point commitment to improving social inclusion in higher education (Commitment to Inclusion, March 2001). This issue has been addressed in the 2005 Learning for All document by the Scottish Funding Council. See also inclusivity; Kennedy Report.

http://www.sfc.ac.uk/publications/pubs_other_sfcarchive/learning_for_all_publication_september_2005.pdf Provides a downloadable version of Learning for All.

Subjects: Education.


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