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Preparing Versus Persuading: Inequalities between Scottish State schools in University Application Guidance Practices

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK94LA, UK
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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(9), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7090169
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Stratification and Inequality in Access to Higher Education)
A university education is often regarded as a means for increasing social mobility, with attendance at a leading university seen as a pathway to an advantaged socio-economic status. However, inequalities are observable in attendance levels at leading UK universities, with children from less advantaged backgrounds less likely to attend the top universities (generally known as the Russell Group institutions). In this paper, we explore the different levels of assistance provided to state school children in preparing for their university applications. Guidance teachers and pupils at a range of Scottish state schools were interviewed. We find that inequalities exist in the cultivation of guidance provided by state schools, with high attainment schools focusing on preparing applicants to be desirable to leading universities, whilst low attainment schools focus on persuading their students that university is desirable. View Full-Text
Keywords: educational inequalities; university applications; state schools; guidance teachers; personal statements; habitus educational inequalities; university applications; state schools; guidance teachers; personal statements; habitus
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Ferguson, J.M.; Griffiths, D. Preparing Versus Persuading: Inequalities between Scottish State schools in University Application Guidance Practices. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 169.

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