Understanding the persistence of inequality in higher education: evidence from Australia

Jenny CHESTERS, Louise Watson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    During the latter half of the twentieth century, Australia, like many countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, experienced rapid expansion in participation in higher education which was supported by government through increases in the number of publicly funded university places. However, in spite of this expansion, a disproportionately large share of the undergraduate student population is still drawn from higher socio-economic backgrounds. This paper seeks to understand the persistence of inequality in higher education by examining changes in patterns of participation in Australian universities since the 1970s. Using logistic regressions to analyse data collected by three Australian surveys conducted between 1987 and 2005, the authors examine the influence of having a university-educated parent on an individual’s chances of obtaining a higher education degree. They find that although the expansion of higher education has had some impact in terms of reducing inequality, having a university-educated parent continues to exert a direct effect on an individual’s propensity to graduate from university. The paper draws on the theories of maximally maintained inequality and relative risk aversion to interpret institutional and student behaviour. The policy challenges of addressing structural inequality in higher education are also discussed
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-215
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Education Policy
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    persistence
    university
    evidence
    education
    parents
    participation
    OECD
    twentieth century
    student
    logistics
    graduate
    regression
    economics

    Cite this

    CHESTERS, Jenny ; Watson, Louise. / Understanding the persistence of inequality in higher education: evidence from Australia. In: Journal of Education Policy. 2013 ; Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 198-215.
    @article{fb23a864758c47eb9ecd386dd50d5d48,
    title = "Understanding the persistence of inequality in higher education: evidence from Australia",
    abstract = "During the latter half of the twentieth century, Australia, like many countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, experienced rapid expansion in participation in higher education which was supported by government through increases in the number of publicly funded university places. However, in spite of this expansion, a disproportionately large share of the undergraduate student population is still drawn from higher socio-economic backgrounds. This paper seeks to understand the persistence of inequality in higher education by examining changes in patterns of participation in Australian universities since the 1970s. Using logistic regressions to analyse data collected by three Australian surveys conducted between 1987 and 2005, the authors examine the influence of having a university-educated parent on an individual’s chances of obtaining a higher education degree. They find that although the expansion of higher education has had some impact in terms of reducing inequality, having a university-educated parent continues to exert a direct effect on an individual’s propensity to graduate from university. The paper draws on the theories of maximally maintained inequality and relative risk aversion to interpret institutional and student behaviour. The policy challenges of addressing structural inequality in higher education are also discussed",
    keywords = "Higher education, participation, social class",
    author = "Jenny CHESTERS and Louise Watson",
    year = "2013",
    doi = "10.1080/02680939.2012.694481",
    language = "English",
    volume = "28",
    pages = "198--215",
    journal = "Journal of Education Policy",
    issn = "0268-0939",
    publisher = "Routledge",
    number = "2",

    }

    Understanding the persistence of inequality in higher education: evidence from Australia. / CHESTERS, Jenny; Watson, Louise.

    In: Journal of Education Policy, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2013, p. 198-215.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Understanding the persistence of inequality in higher education: evidence from Australia

    AU - CHESTERS, Jenny

    AU - Watson, Louise

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - During the latter half of the twentieth century, Australia, like many countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, experienced rapid expansion in participation in higher education which was supported by government through increases in the number of publicly funded university places. However, in spite of this expansion, a disproportionately large share of the undergraduate student population is still drawn from higher socio-economic backgrounds. This paper seeks to understand the persistence of inequality in higher education by examining changes in patterns of participation in Australian universities since the 1970s. Using logistic regressions to analyse data collected by three Australian surveys conducted between 1987 and 2005, the authors examine the influence of having a university-educated parent on an individual’s chances of obtaining a higher education degree. They find that although the expansion of higher education has had some impact in terms of reducing inequality, having a university-educated parent continues to exert a direct effect on an individual’s propensity to graduate from university. The paper draws on the theories of maximally maintained inequality and relative risk aversion to interpret institutional and student behaviour. The policy challenges of addressing structural inequality in higher education are also discussed

    AB - During the latter half of the twentieth century, Australia, like many countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, experienced rapid expansion in participation in higher education which was supported by government through increases in the number of publicly funded university places. However, in spite of this expansion, a disproportionately large share of the undergraduate student population is still drawn from higher socio-economic backgrounds. This paper seeks to understand the persistence of inequality in higher education by examining changes in patterns of participation in Australian universities since the 1970s. Using logistic regressions to analyse data collected by three Australian surveys conducted between 1987 and 2005, the authors examine the influence of having a university-educated parent on an individual’s chances of obtaining a higher education degree. They find that although the expansion of higher education has had some impact in terms of reducing inequality, having a university-educated parent continues to exert a direct effect on an individual’s propensity to graduate from university. The paper draws on the theories of maximally maintained inequality and relative risk aversion to interpret institutional and student behaviour. The policy challenges of addressing structural inequality in higher education are also discussed

    KW - Higher education

    KW - participation

    KW - social class

    U2 - 10.1080/02680939.2012.694481

    DO - 10.1080/02680939.2012.694481

    M3 - Article

    VL - 28

    SP - 198

    EP - 215

    JO - Journal of Education Policy

    JF - Journal of Education Policy

    SN - 0268-0939

    IS - 2

    ER -