Discussion event – Widening participation in higher education: longitudinal research on the ‘first in family’ student experience and labour market outcomes

15 Dec 2021
Seminar

What can we learn from a quantitative analysis on ‘first in family’ university graduates in the UK in relation to labour market outcomes and widening participation in higher education?

On 15 December we were joined by an audience of 100 for  a discussion and presentation of findings from a research programme funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by Dr Morag Henderson, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. The project team, including Dr Anna Adamecz-Volgyi, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies and Dr Nikki Shure, UCL Social Research Institute examined how ‘first in family’ students, those whose parents do not have a degree but who go on to achieve one themselves, navigate the higher education system and the labour market compared to their peers. The project findings have important implications for both social mobility and educational inequality.

 

 

Date

The presentation was recorded live on 15 December 2021

Event platform

Available below and on the CLS YouTube Channel

Seminar details

What can we learn from a quantitative analysis on ‘first in family’ university graduates in the UK in relation to labour market outcomes and widening participation in higher education?

Join us for a discussion and presentation of findings from a research programme funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by Dr Morag Henderson, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. The project team, including Dr Anna Adamecz-Volgyi, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies and Dr Nikki Shure, UCL Social Research Institute examined how ‘first in family’ students, those whose parents do not have a degree but who go on to achieve one themselves, navigate the higher education system and the labour market compared to their peers. The project findings have important implications for both social mobility and educational inequality.

Event format

The event includes a presentation of results from the project team (Dr Morag Henderson, Dr Anna Adamecz-Volgyi and Dr Nikki Shure). You can view the presentation slides here (opens PDF of slides).

The below sessions were not recorded.

Discussants session
Sam Friedman, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics
Penny Longman, Senior Careers Consultant;. UCL Careers
Laura Kwiatkowski, Development Officer, Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools

Experience of First in Family students
Gemma Swan and Vanessa Da Silva Baptista

This event will be of particular interest to:

  • practitioners and policymakers interested in university access and the outcomes of disadvantaged students
  • academics, including researchers of educational inequality, educational transitions
  • university staff involved in widening participation strategies
  • career advisors
  • graduate employers
  • students with an interest in social science and education
  • Third sector organisations relating to inequality and social mobility

About the research project

This Nuffield Foundation funded project entitled: ‘First in family’: higher education choices and labour market outcomes aimed to document the differences between ‘first in family’ students and students whose parents have a degree.

Educational attainment gaps by socioeconomic background have narrowed in Britain since the 1980s, driven in part by the expansion of higher education. Despite this overall expansion, there is evidence of horizontal stratification, where disadvantaged students are less likely to access top universities and study for high-status subjects. Thus, an educational advantage for those from more advantaged backgrounds is maintained, raising important questions about social justice and widening participation.

In this research project, the team used secondary data from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies to explore the following research questions:

  • Do ‘first in family’ young people have different experiences at university in terms of institution attended, subject studied, and probability of dropout?
  • How does the ‘first in family’ measure compare to other widening participation indicators?
  • Are there differences by ‘first in family’ status on the graduate labour market in terms of working hours and labour market returns compared to peers whose parents had graduated?
  • Are there any substantive differences in non-cognitive skills such as locus of control, academic self-concept, work ethic and self-esteem of the potential ‘first in family’ students?
  • Has the proportion of potential ‘first in family’ students changed among the younger generation and across the home nations?

Further information

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Event enquiries

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UCL Social Research Institute

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London WC1H 0AL

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