Guest Voices

The experiences of Working Class people in Higher Education are at the core of everything that we do in PURSUE. There are many organisations dedicated to Widening Participation and Class in Education that we want to showcase. Collectively, our voices show the richness, barriers, attitudes and successes of our members, supporters, friends and students.

If you’d like us to feature your work on the blog, please get in touch via our contacts page.

Unlocking Opportunity: Accessing Higher Education with a Criminal Record

Charlotte Brooks Doctoral Researcher, University of Nottingham A criminal record can be devastating, lifelong and far outweigh the harm caused by the official punishment itself. For instance, people with a criminal record can be subjected to discrimination within employment and experience challenges when accessing housing and education. Yet restricted access to opportunities and basic rightsContinue reading “Unlocking Opportunity: Accessing Higher Education with a Criminal Record”

Working to the Same Goals

A case study of Southampton Hub’s work at Student Hubs Sophie Ford and Fiona Walsh, Student Hubs As a charity working within the higher education sector, Student Hubs has a unique point of view on working with communities, students, and higher education colleagues to enact change. We work in partnership with five UK universities, reachingContinue reading “Working to the Same Goals”

Let them eat data: Education, widening participation and the digital divide

The Quest for Answers As an education sector we like answers, answers for everything, right or wrong. Sometimes we’re more concerned with arriving at an answer, than we are with ensuring it tackles the issue addressed by the question. Widening HE participation is led by policy that dictates which answers we provide to what questionsContinue reading “Let them eat data: Education, widening participation and the digital divide”

What’s wrong with the ‘disadvantaged’?

Exactly that – there’s nothing wrong with them. However there is a lot wrong with the term ‘disadvantaged’ and it should not be used by widening participation practitioners, and we should challenge other professionals who use this term- whether that be policy makers, politicians or educationalists. I have four main issues with the term ‘disadvantaged’:Continue reading “What’s wrong with the ‘disadvantaged’?”

Reaching Beyond the School Gate: Making University Outreach More Meaningful

I began working in university outreach back in 2012. Since then, universities have – quite rightly – been under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their widening participation activities. Across the sector, the most common model of student engagement focuses on schools. We look at educational institutions that have a large proportion of studentsContinue reading “Reaching Beyond the School Gate: Making University Outreach More Meaningful”

Don’t Talk to me About Aspirations; The language of disadvantage.

This blog is based around a 2-year research project working with young men engaged with statutory or community provision during 2018 and 19 who accessed youth provision via the ‘Children and Young Peoples Partnership’ at Lancaster University.  “Don’t talk to me about aspirations, who says what I should or shouldn’t be lad, mi dad’s aContinue reading “Don’t Talk to me About Aspirations; The language of disadvantage.”

It’s Class, mate

Ah. Class. The word that shalt not be spoken. Since I began working in the area of Widening Participation in 2005, my background has been described as “disadvantaged”, “economically disadvantaged”, “POLAR Quintile One”, “from a Low Participation Neighbourhood”, “a WP learner”, “a Pupil Premium student” but rarely “working class”. Strange, that. Growing up in StokeContinue reading “It’s Class, mate”

PURSUE Launch Event

Practitioners from Underrepresented Sections United through Education PURSUE Network Launch Tuesday 15th December 10am-12.45pm  (Optional open meeting 2-3pm) Working Class defines people of every gender, ethnicity, religion and cultural background. PURSUE are a network of Higher Education practitioners who have come together to champion the richness and diversity of  working class culture. The network lobbiesContinue reading “PURSUE Launch Event”

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