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Outputs (71)

Does grammar school attendance increase the likelihood of attending a prestigious UK university? (2023)
Journal Article
Capsada‐Munsech, Q., & Boliver, V. (2023). Does grammar school attendance increase the likelihood of attending a prestigious UK university?. British Educational Research Journal, https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3929

In 2018 the UK government launched a £50 million scheme to fund the expansion of existing grammar schools provided that they increase efforts to attract more pupils from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. This initiative assumed that gramma... Read More about Does grammar school attendance increase the likelihood of attending a prestigious UK university?.

The private higher education provider landscape in the UK (2023)
Journal Article
Hunt, S. A., & Boliver, V. (2023). The private higher education provider landscape in the UK. Studies in Higher Education, 48(9), 1346-1360. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2023.2199317

The private higher education (HE) sector in the UK is subject to little oversight or regulation. Consequently, it remains a largely unknown quantity. Yet, the UK government is keen to foster the growth of private providers as a means of stimulating c... Read More about The private higher education provider landscape in the UK.

Educational tracking and social inequalities in long-term labor market outcomes: Six countries in comparison (2023)
Journal Article
Schindler, S., Bar-Haim, E., Barone, C., Fels Birkelund, J., Boliver, V., Capsada-Munsech, Q., …Vallet, L. (2023). Educational tracking and social inequalities in long-term labor market outcomes: Six countries in comparison. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, https://doi.org/10.1177/00207152231151390

In this country-comparative study, we ask to what extent differentiation in secondary education accounts for the association between social origins and social destinations in adult age. We go beyond the widely applied formal definitions of educationa... Read More about Educational tracking and social inequalities in long-term labor market outcomes: Six countries in comparison.

Rethinking merit? The development of more progressive approaches to university admissions in England (2023)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., & Powell, M. (2023). Rethinking merit? The development of more progressive approaches to university admissions in England. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 24(3), 33-55. https://doi.org/10.5456/wpll.24.3.33

This paper explores how highly selective universities in England have responded to the Office for Students' call to make faster progress on widening access by 'rethinking how merit is judged in admissions' (OfS 2019: 8). Our analysis of the Access an... Read More about Rethinking merit? The development of more progressive approaches to university admissions in England.

Evaluation of Supported Progression (SP) schemes offered by Durham University (2023)
Preprint / Working Paper
Siddiqui, N., Gorard, S., & Boliver, V. (2023). Evaluation of Supported Progression (SP) schemes offered by Durham University

Durham University’s Supported Progression (SP) programme aims to help increase the socioeconomic diversity of Durham’s undergraduate population. SP is a combination of interventions for widening access initiatives providing young people from disadvan... Read More about Evaluation of Supported Progression (SP) schemes offered by Durham University.

Competing conceptions of fair admission and their implications for supporting students to fulfil their potential at university (2022)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., & Powell, M. (2023). Competing conceptions of fair admission and their implications for supporting students to fulfil their potential at university. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 27(1), 8-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603108.2022.2063429

This paper explores how fairness was conceptualised by those responsible for admission to highly selective undergraduate courses at 17 universities in England. Fairness was conceptualised principally with reference to the traditional meritocratic equ... Read More about Competing conceptions of fair admission and their implications for supporting students to fulfil their potential at university.

Who counts as socioeconomically disadvantaged for the purposes of widening access to higher education? (2022)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Gorard, S., & Siddiqui, N. (2022). Who counts as socioeconomically disadvantaged for the purposes of widening access to higher education?. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 43(3), 349-374. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2021.2017852

This paper evaluates a range of measures commonly used to target and measure the success of efforts to widen access to higher education. We demonstrate empirically that the area-level widening access metrics advocated by England’s Office for Students... Read More about Who counts as socioeconomically disadvantaged for the purposes of widening access to higher education?.

What do we know about Black and minority ethnic (BME) participation in UK higher education (2021)
Journal Article
Arday, J., Branchu, C., & Boliver, V. (2022). What do we know about Black and minority ethnic (BME) participation in UK higher education. Social Policy and Society, 21(1), 12-25. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1474746421000579

Here, we offer a synthesis of recent evidence and new developments in relation to three broad aspects of Black and minority ethnic (BAME) students’ participation in UK higher education (HE). First, we examine recent trends in ethnic group differences... Read More about What do we know about Black and minority ethnic (BME) participation in UK higher education.

Reconceptualising fair access to highly academically selective universities, Higher Education (2021)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Banerjee, P., Gorard, S., & Powell, M. (2022). Reconceptualising fair access to highly academically selective universities, Higher Education. Higher Education, 84(1), 85-100. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-021-00755-y

The higher education regulators for England have set challenging new widening access targets requiring universities to rethink “ how merit is judged in admissions” (OfS 2018: 8). Universities are being encouraged to move away from the traditional mer... Read More about Reconceptualising fair access to highly academically selective universities, Higher Education.

Does ability grouping affect UK primary school pupils’ enjoyment of Maths and English? (2021)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., & Capsada-Munsech, Q. (2021). Does ability grouping affect UK primary school pupils’ enjoyment of Maths and English?. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 76, Article 100629. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2021.100629

Advocates of grouping pupils by measured ability for instructional purposes claim that ability-homogeneous classrooms increase the attainment of high-ability pupils without detriment to the attainment of pupils judged to be of lower ability. Opponent... Read More about Does ability grouping affect UK primary school pupils’ enjoyment of Maths and English?.

Experiences of first-generation scholars at a highly selective UK university (2021)
Journal Article
Hindle, C., McEwan, C., Boliver, V., Maclarnon, A., Simpson, B., & Brown, H. (2021). Experiences of first-generation scholars at a highly selective UK university. Learning and Teaching, 14(2), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.3167/latiss.2021.140202

Targets set by the UK Office for Students require highly academically selective UK universities to enrol a greater percentage of students identified as least likely to participate in higher education. Such students are typically at a disadvantage in... Read More about Experiences of first-generation scholars at a highly selective UK university.

Lives on track? Long-term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark (2021)
Journal Article
Birkelund, J., Capsada-Munsech, Q., Boliver, V., & Karlson, K. (2021). Lives on track? Long-term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark. British Journal of Sociology, 72(3), 672-692. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12856

We explore the influence of between-school ability placement at lower secondary education on earnings across the life course in England and Denmark. We go beyond the mid-career snapshot provided by previous studies by exploiting the availability of f... Read More about Lives on track? Long-term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark.

The early labour-market returns to upper secondary qualifications track in England (2021)
Journal Article
Capsada-Munsech, Q., & Boliver, V. (2021). The early labour-market returns to upper secondary qualifications track in England. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, https://doi.org/10.1332/175795921x16119468619598

We explore the early labour-market returns to following the academic track (such as A levels) rather than the vocational track (for example, NVQs) in upper secondary education in England. England is an interesting country case because students are ‘f... Read More about The early labour-market returns to upper secondary qualifications track in England.

Private providers and market exit in UK higher education (2020)
Journal Article
Hunt, S. A., & Boliver, V. (2021). Private providers and market exit in UK higher education. Higher Education, 81, 385-401. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00546-x

The sudden closure of higher education providers is virtually unknown among publicly funded higher education institutions in the UK, but “market exit” is commonplace among private higher education providers. The UK government is actively championing... Read More about Private providers and market exit in UK higher education.

The use of evidence from research on contextualised admissions to widen access to Scottish universities (2020)
Book Chapter
Boliver, V., & Gorard, S. (2020). The use of evidence from research on contextualised admissions to widen access to Scottish universities. In S. Gorard (Ed.), Getting evidence into education : evaluating the routes to policy and practice (166-177). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429290343-12

This chapter looks at our role in providing evidence on the practicalities and implications of using contextualised admissions to universities, primarily in Scotland. The use of contexualised admissions has become a national policy for all universiti... Read More about The use of evidence from research on contextualised admissions to widen access to Scottish universities.

The use of access thresholds to widen participation at Scottish universities (2020)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Gorard, S., Powell, M., & Moreira, T. (2020). The use of access thresholds to widen participation at Scottish universities. Scottish Affairs, 29(1), 82-97. https://doi.org/10.3366/scot.2020.0307

The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for widening access to full-time undergraduate degree programmes. Meeting these targets will be a real challenge, not least because young people from socioeconomically disadvantaged contexts continue... Read More about The use of access thresholds to widen participation at Scottish universities.

Let's make education fairer (2019)
Journal Article
Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., See, B., Boliver, V., & Wardle, L. (2019). Let's make education fairer. Research intelligence, Autumn 2019(140), 12-13

Using contextual data to widen access to higher education (2019)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Gorard, S., & Siddiqui, N. (2021). Using contextual data to widen access to higher education. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 25(1), 7-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603108.2019.1678076

This paper reports on the findings of an ESRC funded project that contributes to the evidence base underpinning contextualised approaches to undergraduate admissions in England. We show that the bolder use of reduced entry requirements for disadvanta... Read More about Using contextual data to widen access to higher education.

Reliability of Longitudinal Social Surveys of Access to Higher Education: The Case of Next Steps in England (2019)
Journal Article
Siddiqui, N., Boliver, V., & Gorard, S. (2019). Reliability of Longitudinal Social Surveys of Access to Higher Education: The Case of Next Steps in England. Social Inclusion, 7(1), 80-89. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1631

Longitudinal social surveys are widely used to understand which factors enable or constrain access to higher education. One such data resource is the Next Steps survey comprising an initial sample of 16,122 pupils aged 13–14 attending English state a... Read More about Reliability of Longitudinal Social Surveys of Access to Higher Education: The Case of Next Steps in England.

Performance-based university funding and the drive towards ‘institutional meritocracy’ in Italy (2018)
Journal Article
Mateos-González, J., & Boliver, V. (2019). Performance-based university funding and the drive towards ‘institutional meritocracy’ in Italy. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 40(2), 145-158. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2018.1497947

Many countries, including Italy, are increasingly managing their public higher education systems in accordance with the New Public Management principle that private-sector management practices improve efficiency and quality. A key mechanism has been... Read More about Performance-based university funding and the drive towards ‘institutional meritocracy’ in Italy.

Organisational Identity as a Barrier to Widening Access in Scottish Universities (2018)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Powell, M., & Moreira, T. (2018). Organisational Identity as a Barrier to Widening Access in Scottish Universities. Social Sciences, 7(9), Article 151. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7090151

Widening access policy has historically focused on tackling the socioeconomic barriers to university access faced by prospective students from under-represented groups, but increasingly policy makers are seeking to also address the barriers to wider... Read More about Organisational Identity as a Barrier to Widening Access in Scottish Universities.

Ethnic Inequalities in Admission to Highly Selective Universities (2018)
Book Chapter
Boliver, V. (2018). Ethnic Inequalities in Admission to Highly Selective Universities. In J. Arday, & H. Safia-Mirza (Eds.), Dismantling race in higher education : racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy (67-85). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-60261-5_4

Growing diversity within Higher Education (HE), rather than producing a more inclusive higher education, has resulted in a segregated and increasingly polarised system. In the United Kingdom (UK) we are maintaining, and further strengthening, a unive... Read More about Ethnic Inequalities in Admission to Highly Selective Universities.

Exploring ethnic differences in the post-university destinations of Russell Group graduates (2018)
Journal Article
Lessard-Phillips, L., Boliver, V., Pampaka, M., & Swain, D. (2018). Exploring ethnic differences in the post-university destinations of Russell Group graduates. Ethnicities, 18(4), 496-517. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468796818777543

The high aspirations of British ethnic minorities are evident in their high rates of participation in higher education. However, some ethnic minority groups remain strikingly under-represented in the most selective universities, and recent studies ha... Read More about Exploring ethnic differences in the post-university destinations of Russell Group graduates.

Admission to medicine and law at Russell Group universities: the impact of A-level subject choice (2018)
Book Chapter
Dilnot, C., & Boliver, V. (2018). Admission to medicine and law at Russell Group universities: the impact of A-level subject choice. In P. Burke, A. Hayton, & J. Stevenson (Eds.), Evaluating equity and widening participation in higher education (59-87). Trentham Books (UCL IOE Press)

BOOK ABSTRACT: Evaluation is a contested field. This collection considers the relationship between evaluation and research, and the ethical and moral dilemmas raised when evaluating equity and widening participation in higher education. The growing d... Read More about Admission to medicine and law at Russell Group universities: the impact of A-level subject choice.

Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE? (2017)
Journal Article
Gorard, S., Boliver, V., Siddiqui, N., & Banerjee, P. (2019). Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE?. Research Papers in Education, 34(1), 99-129. https://doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2017.1402083

Universities are increasingly making decisions about undergraduate admissions with reference to contextual indicators to identify whether an applicant comes from a disadvantaged family, neighbourhood or school environment. However, the indicators use... Read More about Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE?.

Admissions in Context: The use of contextual information by leading universities (2017)
Report
Boliver, V., Crawford, C., Powell, M., & Craige, W. (2017). Admissions in Context: The use of contextual information by leading universities. [No known commissioning body]

While the university access gap between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers has narrowed somewhat in recent years, the gap at the most selective universities remains stubbornly wide. Contextualised admissions – taking into account... Read More about Admissions in Context: The use of contextual information by leading universities.

How meritocratic is admission to highly selective UK universities? (2017)
Book Chapter
Boliver, V. (2017). How meritocratic is admission to highly selective UK universities?. In R. Waller, N. Ingram, & R. Ward (Eds.), Higher education and social inequalities : university admissions, experiences, and outcomes (37-53). Routledge

How can we widen participation in higher education? The promise of contextualised admissions (2017)
Book Chapter
Boliver, V., Gorard, S., & Siddiqui, N. (2017). How can we widen participation in higher education? The promise of contextualised admissions. In R. Deem, & H. Eggins (Eds.), The university as a critical institution? (95-110). Sense Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6351-116-2_6

Widening participation in higher education has been on the UK policy agenda for more than fifty years. Yet, despite some progress across the UK higher education sector overall (DfE, 2016), students from less socioeconomically advantaged backgrounds r... Read More about How can we widen participation in higher education? The promise of contextualised admissions.

An Analysis of School-Based Contextual Indicators for Possible Use in Widening Participation (2017)
Journal Article
Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., & Boliver, V. (2017). An Analysis of School-Based Contextual Indicators for Possible Use in Widening Participation. Higher Education Studies, 7(2), Article 79. https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v7n2p79

This paper looks at the National Pupil Database for England in terms of variables that could be used by universities to help them assess undergraduate applications. Where a young person is obviously disadvantaged, this can be taken into account in co... Read More about An Analysis of School-Based Contextual Indicators for Possible Use in Widening Participation.

Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE? (2017)
Preprint / Working Paper
Gorard, S., Boliver, V., Siddiqui, N., Banerjee, P., & Morris, R. (2017). Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE?

UK universities are increasingly making decisions about undergraduate admissions with reference to various contextual indicators which are intended to identify whether or not an applicant comes from a disadvantaged family, neighbourhood or school env... Read More about Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE?.

Social mobility and higher education (2016)
Book Chapter
Boliver, V., & Wakeling, P. (2017). Social mobility and higher education. In J. Shin, & P. Teixeira (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of international higher education systems and institutions (1-6). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_43-1

The impact of participation in tertiary-level education on the movement of individuals up or down the social class structure from one generation to the next (intergenerational mobility) or during the course of a career (intragenerational mobility). S... Read More about Social mobility and higher education.

Critically evaluating the Effectively Maintained Inequality hypothesis (2016)
Journal Article
Boliver, V. (2016). Critically evaluating the Effectively Maintained Inequality hypothesis. British journal of education, society & behavioural science, 15(2), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.9734/bjesbs/2016/24563

This paper uses data for England to test the effectively maintained inequality (EMI) hypothesis that individuals from ‘high’ and ‘low’ socioeconomic backgrounds have qualitatively different modal educational destinations at a given educational level.... Read More about Critically evaluating the Effectively Maintained Inequality hypothesis.

Will the Use of Contextual Indicators Make UK Higher Education Admissions Fairer? (2015)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., Gorard, S., & Siddiqui, N. (2015). Will the Use of Contextual Indicators Make UK Higher Education Admissions Fairer?. Education Sciences, 5(4), 306-322. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040306

In the UK, as elsewhere, the use of ‘contextual’ data has been strongly advocated in order to inform undergraduate admissions decision-making. More than a third of UK universities currently take the socioeconomic or other background context of underg... Read More about Will the Use of Contextual Indicators Make UK Higher Education Admissions Fairer?.

Are there distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK? (2015)
Journal Article
Boliver, V. (2015). Are there distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK?. Oxford Review of Education, 41(5), 608-627. https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2015.1082905

In 1992 the binary divide between universities and polytechnics was dismantled to create a nominally unitary system of higher education for the UK. Just a year later, the first UK university league table was published, and the year after that saw the... Read More about Are there distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK?.

Exploring ethnic inequalities in admission to Russell Group universities (2015)
Journal Article
Boliver, V. (2016). Exploring ethnic inequalities in admission to Russell Group universities. Sociology, 50(2), 247-266. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038515575859

This article analyses national university applications and admissions data to explore why ethnic minority applicants to Russell Group universities are less likely to receive offers of admission than comparably qualified white applicants. Contrary to... Read More about Exploring ethnic inequalities in admission to Russell Group universities.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics on widening access to Russell Group universities (2015)
Journal Article
Boliver, V. (2015). Lies, damned lies, and statistics on widening access to Russell Group universities. Radical statistics, 113, 29-38

This article reports on a forensic examination of the statistical evidence presented in a recent Russell Group report entitled Opening Doors which claims that “real progress has been made over the last few years” in relation to widening access at Rus... Read More about Lies, damned lies, and statistics on widening access to Russell Group universities.

Social Mobility Over Three Generations in Finland: A Critique (2014)
Journal Article
Chan, T., & Boliver, V. (2014). Social Mobility Over Three Generations in Finland: A Critique. European Sociological Review, 30(1), 13-17. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jct012

Erola and Moisio (2007) argue that in Finland the class positions of grandparents and grandchildren are almost independent of each other, once parents’ social class has been taken into account. We show that this conclusion of ‘almost conditional inde... Read More about Social Mobility Over Three Generations in Finland: A Critique.

Hard Evidence: why aren’t there more black British students at elite universities? (2014)
Digital Artefact
Boliver, V. (2014). Hard Evidence: why aren’t there more black British students at elite universities?. [[Media unknown]]

Young people from black British backgrounds are more likely to go to university than their white British peers, but they are much less likely to attend the UK’s most selective universities. As the Independent Commission on Social Mobility pointed out... Read More about Hard Evidence: why aren’t there more black British students at elite universities?.

The grandparents effect in social mobility: evidence from British birth cohort studies (2013)
Journal Article
Chan, T. W., & Boliver, V. (2013). The grandparents effect in social mobility: evidence from British birth cohort studies. American Sociological Review, 78(4), 662-678. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122413489130

Using data from three British birth cohort studies, we examine patterns of social mobility over three generations of family members. For both men and women, absolute mobility rates (i.e., total, upward, downward, and outflow mobility rates) in the pa... Read More about The grandparents effect in social mobility: evidence from British birth cohort studies.

How fair is access to more prestigious UK Universities? (2013)
Journal Article
Boliver, V. (2013). How fair is access to more prestigious UK Universities?. British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), 344-364. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12021

Now that most UK universities have increased their tuition fees to £9,000 a year and are implementing new Access Agreements as required by the Office for Fair Access, it has never been more important to examine the extent of fair access to UK higher... Read More about How fair is access to more prestigious UK Universities?.

Access to Britain’s top universities is far from fair (2013)
Digital Artefact
Boliver, V. (2013). Access to Britain’s top universities is far from fair. [[Media unknown]]

Research suggests that access to the United Kingdom's top universities is far from fair for students from state schools and ethnic minorities, even when the figures are screened for subjects studied at A-level.

Education Under New Labour, 1997-2010 (2013)
Journal Article
Heath, A., Sullivan, A., Boliver, V., & Zimdars, A. (2013). Education Under New Labour, 1997-2010. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 29(1), 227-247. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grt003

This article reviews the evidence on New Labour’s educational achievements. It focuses on those aspects of policy that Labour itself highlighted in its manifestos, such as the raising of educational standards. A major issue, particularly on the issue... Read More about Education Under New Labour, 1997-2010.

Social mobility: the politics, the reality, the alternative (2013)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., & Byrne, D. (2013). Social mobility: the politics, the reality, the alternative. Soundings, Winter 2013(55),

Social mobility – something we all think is wonderful, or do we? Certainly all the UK’s major political parties appear to be all for it, expressing concern about clear evidence that mobility between social classes in Britain has levelled off, and mor... Read More about Social mobility: the politics, the reality, the alternative.

Schools and social mobility (2012)
Journal Article
Boliver, V., & Swift, A. (2012). Schools and social mobility. Sociological Review, 22(2),