A central tenet of contemporary education policy relates to the desire to extend Higher Education provision to less advantaged groups (widening participation). Our paper contends that a key behavioural obstacle to widening participation lies in the erroneous belief that persists among potential entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds as to their capabilities of succeeding within the HE environment a perception that serves to deflates application/recruitment rates from such groupings. We test this false uniqueness thesis using a sample of 127 new UK undergraduates, finding that students drawn from lower social class backgrounds consistently under-estimated their abilities vis-a-vis the overall cohort.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Higher Education Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|