Every word starts with ?Ǩdis?ǨѢ: the impact of class on choice, application and admissions to prestigious higher education art and design courses

Jackie McManus


The UK government?ǨѢs commitment to increasing the number of working class students in higher education places little emphasis on who goes to which university to study what subject. It thus is failing to acknowledge the advantages which elitist universities bestow on their predominantly middle class graduates. This article looks at how issues of class impact on university choice, application and admission, with particular emphasis on art and design higher education. In particular, it examines the part that habitus and cultural capital play in how applicants choose universities, make applications and navigate an admissions process that includes producing an art and design portfolio and attending an interview. It argues that class is the main determinant of who studies on prestigious art and design courses and compares the admissions practices used by secondary schools to maintain their position in league tables as well as higher education admissions. This article challenges the acceptability of the ?Ǩdis?ǨѢ language used in discourses of widening participation.

Full Text: PDF

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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