How can academics remove barriers for the most excluded? A call for advocacy from lived experience in the UK and Ireland

Claudia Efemini, Natalie Forster, Martin Gallagher, Irene Hardill, Kay Heslop, David Littlefair, Nicola Marsden, Sophie Meller, Anna Toyne, Séamus O’Tuama, Matthew Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Britain is increasingly a poor country with a small number of very rich people. Universities are increasingly being allocated responsibility for Levelling Up and for acting as civic institutions in support of regional development. This requires substantive engagement with those communities most excluded from Higher Education, both in co-production of research by which to inform policy development and in providing pathways to study. This research note has been produced by a group of academics and outreach professions centrally concerned with addressing inequality and making Higher Education reachable for all. It presents the collective experience of the group in identifying obstacles. We call on colleagues, institutions and policymakers to engage seriously in policy development to ensure that people from the communities we serve are allocated essential material resources, provided with means of overcoming spatial barriers and supported in developing seed capital. In general, we believe that there is a need for genuine collective action in advancing equity at a time of serious challenges to our society and sector.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWidening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Nov 2023

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