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Information, expectations and transition to higher education: final report


Publication date

Feb 2019


There has been a dramatic increase in participation in higher education in the UK. In England, for example, the proportion of 17 to 30 years olds participating in higher education increased from just 5% in 1960 to 49% in 2012, with a strong acceleration in the 1990s (Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013). A number of studies demonstrate that the expansion of the higher education sector has reinforced rather than attenuated socio-economic inequalities in higher education (Lindley and Machin 2012, Machin and Vignoles 2004). We set out to inform UK policy on addressing inequalities in university entrance by investigating how differences in information can explain difference in higher education participation by socioeconomic status. We focus on four types of information: information about the availability of financial aid, information about requirements to university admission, information about academic ability, and information about the labour market return to a university degree.


Information Networks, Young People, Social Stratification, and Higher Education


Report -; Project page -; ISER Research news -


Research funded by the Nuffield Foundation

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