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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7020028

Differentiation in Higher Education: The Impact of Parental Education

Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, 151 80 Maroussi, Greece
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract

The widening of participation in higher education in recent decades has been heralded as a means toward the reduction of social class inequalities in higher education. Research findings indicate, though, that simply increasing the number of people attending higher education does not mean that social inequalities have been substantially reduced. The mass expansion of higher education has existed alongside a differentiated and stratified higher education. Students from more privileged socioeconomic backgrounds usually study in prestigious higher education institutions and departments which offer more ambitious occupational trajectories, while those from less privileged socioeconomic backgrounds usually attend lower status institutions and courses of study. Using official quantitative data, in this article we explore the correlation between familial cultural capital and distribution in higher education in Greece. The research findings show that the Greek higher education sector is differentiated, since students with parents who are higher education graduates are overrepresented in prestigious higher education departments and courses of study. Based on the research findings, we argue that initiatives to reduce social class inequalities in higher education need to tackle the issue of social class stratification in higher education and the unequal representation of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds in prestigious fields of study. View Full-Text
Keywords: widened access to higher education; social class; Bourdieu; parental education widened access to higher education; social class; Bourdieu; parental education
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Tsiplakides, I. Differentiation in Higher Education: The Impact of Parental Education. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 28.

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