Category: Social Mobility

Is there an unfair connection between elite education and top jobs?

Image: Juan Salmoral

 

Do those educated in the top establishments get the best jobs? And if so, is this fair? Jack Harvey at nouse.co.uk investigates and discovers a larger social mobility issue. He feels the solution is not to criticise those who are doing well due to elite education, but instead to provide education to children from less-well-off backgrounds based on merit.

Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute, says:

“In my professional life so far, I wasn’t judged on the nature or brand of my education but on my ability to talk about it. At the end of the day, a good education will enable an individual to articulate who they are striving to become and why they are right for the job. Speaking as an employer, the ability to articulate who you are is what I am looking for first and foremost. Your education is important, but the name of your school, college or university is not going to tell me anything about you that I really need to know.

No ‘equal opportunities’ or ‘widening participation’ agenda has so far managed to really change or even challenge the class system we have in the UK, as pictured in Harvey’s article. So what do we do?

Bringing our awareness to social mobility as Harvey does is important and another vital task we have on our hands is to ensure that the ‘poor education’ Harvey is talking about – which he states can be found equally in private and in state schools – is challenged and slowly eliminated through excellent teacher training opportunities.”

 

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Should University Access be Available for Everyone?

Image source: BBC News

 

According to a recent report, only 3% of disadvantaged 18-year-olds get places in the top universities. This compares unfavourably with the 21% of those from more privileged backgrounds. Professor Patrick McGhee asks whether Universities should be doing more for social mobility in education.

Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive at Crossfields Institute, says:

“The debate about social mobility and fairer access to elite Universities is a merry-go-round of category mistakes and moving goalposts. There is hope, however, in Professor McGhee’s article when he writes: ‘Should the debate not be about a fair system for access to the professions rather than securing fair access to an unfair filtering system?’

To this excellent question I would like to add the following: rather than being concerned with fairer access to elite universities, we need to work on multiple levels to ensure that a) the quality of higher education in universities across the nation has the appropriate breadth and depth to make a significant contribution to the development of individual potential, and b) that the access and social mobility issue is about receiving high quality higher education and not merely associating with brand names.”

Please see other articles on our blog with regard to the social mobility question.

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Rise in Undergraduate Applications, Fall in Part-time and Mature Students

Image source: timeshighereducation.co.uk

 

The number of students applying for full-time undergraduate applications is rising, yet this conceals a decline in the number of part-time and mature students. Jack Grove from timeshighereducation.co.uk investigates…

Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute, says:

‘There are variables and multiple complex factors involved in the following questions: who chooses to go to University, who chooses not to go and who applies and doesn’t get in. There is no doubt that it has become harder to inspire and attract mature part-time students over the years. So, if the data is indeed correct, the overall picture presented in this article is perhaps not surprising. I have to agree with Mike Boxall, however, that we need to look closely at the “more complex recruitment picture faced by universities”. Before we can draw conclusions about trends, we need to investigate the methodologies used in the development of these statistics and we need to look at the recruitment and admissions reality alongside that. Maybe the picture that is presented here is connected with the social mobility question?’

Please see other articles on our blog with regard to the social mobility question.


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Big Businesses Need to Do More to Support Education

Image source: BBC News

It is common sense that the key to bright and brilliant future generations is education. Yet a recent analysis of the top 500 global businesses revealed that only a small amount of their philanthropic and social investment budget was channelled into education. If these businesses were to provide extra funding, we could begin to tackle such severe global concerns as the fact that 58 million children in developing countries do not have access to primary schools.

You can read the full story on the BBC website…