Social justice and widening access to higher education in Scotland: the role of Scottish colleges

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Higher education is now an important dimension of provision in what have traditionally been referred to as ‘further education’ colleges in the UK. It has also been an important aspect of provision in community colleges in North America, both in the USA and Canada. This seminar will draw on chapters written for the recently published New Frontiers for College Education: International Perspectives (Gallacher & Reeve 2019), to which all of the presenters have contributed. Together they will explore some of the issues which the presence of higher education in the college sector now raises. These include whether colleges have an important role in widening access to higher education, or whether they ‘divert’ students from less socially and economically advantaged backgrounds into lower status forms of higher education, as Brint and Karabel have suggested. There is also the question of the type of higher education they are providing. Whereas traditionally these colleges had an important role in providing vocational education and training, has this been eroded as more provision facilitates progression to bachelor degree study in universities, and are these courses becoming more ‘academic’ in nature? Alternatively, to what extent has the continued role of Foundation Degrees, HNC/Ds, the more recent higher, degree and graduate apprenticeships, and the ‘applied’ degrees in Ontario, enabled colleges to meet a need for higher level vocational qualifications? This seminar will draw on papers from England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada, in considering these issues, and the potential which these colleges can have in contributing to key debates regarding the future of higher education and of vocational education and training.
Period8 Jul 2019
Event titleHigher Education in Colleges
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational