Adviser on the Edge

careers in island communities: research, theory and practice

Participation in Higher Education by region (in England): a picture of rural disadvantage

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Well, this is interesting, today I came across a report from HEFCE: ‘trends in young participation in higher education’ which looks at participation rates in Higher Education across England. The research finds that “Areas where young people are least likely to go into HE are located along the coast, in many former industrial towns in the Midlands and the North, and in rural parts of the South West, the East Midlands and the East of England.” Although my research focuses on the very remote and rural areas of the far north of Scotland and specifically Orkney, this HEFCE report shows how issues of rurality may also be significant in terms of higher education in England.

Where I’ve talked before about the draw of London to new graduates, the map accompanying the HEFCE report shows how London may also be very well represented in terms of young people accessing Higher Education. In this way rural young people may be doubly disadvantaged – first in terms of accessing higher education, with lower levels of young people going into higher education from remote and rural areas, and in terms of accessing graduate jobs, because graduate jobs may be underrepresented in rural areas and focused in the ‘escalator region’ of London.

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