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Is a Foundation Year Programme to
an A-Level as a 7-UP is to a Sprite: Exploring an Attempt to Diversify
an English University

Anyadike-Danes, Chima Michael



What contribution might social anthropology make to our understanding of the consequences of successive British governments’ attempts over the last two decades to widen participation in England’s universities? In this article I answer this question by examining a foundation year programme at a university in the nation’s former industrial heartland. Drawing on anthropological literature on rites of passage I analyse working-class participants’ experiences of this admission process. Its creators envisaged it as a rite that would seamlessly assimilate ‘diverse students’ into the university body, but I argue that it does not do so. Instead, as is to be expected from a rite, it marks participants. It thus prevents them from ever just being students in the eyes of themselves and their fellows.


an English University. Teaching Anthropology, 10(1), 85-94.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Aug 3, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2021
Journal Teaching Anthropology
Print ISSN 1537-1751
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 85-94