Equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive

Equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive Purpose– Social inclusion policies in the higher education sector are implemented to ensure that all people – irrespective of socioeconomic background – have rights of access and the opportunities needed to participate and, ultimately, succeed. In Australia, and in other countries such as the UK, the USA, New Zealand and South Africa such policies are reflective of a commitment to the government's social inclusion agenda particularly aimed at improving access and participation of those from disadvantaged and low-socioeconomic backgrounds. Such a commitment arrives at an historic moment in countries like Australia and the UK when there is a concurrent national renewal of quality assurance in higher education with a particular focus on academic standards. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate discussion on the extent to which a national social inclusion agenda may impact academic standards and student outcomes. Design/methodology/approach– The authors argue that contemporary trends such as increasing student diversity, changing pattern of student participation, differentiated levels of preparedness for tertiary education and new modes of learning, will continue to grow and will not in and of themselves affect academic standards. The authors contend that it is the responsibility of higher education institutions to respond proactively to the diverse needs of students whilst ensuring that academic standards are maintained. In this way, the fulfilment of an essentially transformative moral purpose in higher education may also be achieved. Findings– The evidence presented in this paper from various contexts suggests that a social inclusion agenda related to increasing the equity of access and participation of disadvantaged students does not have a negative impact on academic standards and outcomes. However, such commitment to widening participation requires the active “buy in” of a number of stakeholders. Originality/value– The paper shows that institutions of higher education need to plan for and actively support the development of environments in which all people can realise their potential and are provided with the knowledge and skill sets they in turn will require in order to contribute to society. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality Assurance in Education Emerald Publishing

Equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/equity-and-excellence-are-not-mutually-exclusive-lVAlyCAYcN
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0968-4883
DOI
10.1108/QAE-Apr-2012-0020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– Social inclusion policies in the higher education sector are implemented to ensure that all people – irrespective of socioeconomic background – have rights of access and the opportunities needed to participate and, ultimately, succeed. In Australia, and in other countries such as the UK, the USA, New Zealand and South Africa such policies are reflective of a commitment to the government's social inclusion agenda particularly aimed at improving access and participation of those from disadvantaged and low-socioeconomic backgrounds. Such a commitment arrives at an historic moment in countries like Australia and the UK when there is a concurrent national renewal of quality assurance in higher education with a particular focus on academic standards. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate discussion on the extent to which a national social inclusion agenda may impact academic standards and student outcomes. Design/methodology/approach– The authors argue that contemporary trends such as increasing student diversity, changing pattern of student participation, differentiated levels of preparedness for tertiary education and new modes of learning, will continue to grow and will not in and of themselves affect academic standards. The authors contend that it is the responsibility of higher education institutions to respond proactively to the diverse needs of students whilst ensuring that academic standards are maintained. In this way, the fulfilment of an essentially transformative moral purpose in higher education may also be achieved. Findings– The evidence presented in this paper from various contexts suggests that a social inclusion agenda related to increasing the equity of access and participation of disadvantaged students does not have a negative impact on academic standards and outcomes. However, such commitment to widening participation requires the active “buy in” of a number of stakeholders. Originality/value– The paper shows that institutions of higher education need to plan for and actively support the development of environments in which all people can realise their potential and are provided with the knowledge and skill sets they in turn will require in order to contribute to society.

Journal

Quality Assurance in EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 8, 2013

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off