This research paper will indicate assorted factors that have an impact on the determination of a student towards higher education regarding his or her social class. Moreover, it focuses on the issue of social prejudice in the institutions of higher education. The main goals of the research paper is to investigate the number of aspects that affect the level of enrolment into institutions of higher education of undergraduates from lower social circles; to determine the comparative significance of these aspects for various minor groups of students and to elongate applicable policy endorsements. The significance of the research paper lies in evaluating an acute question of interdependence of social class and university education among students with different social backgrounds (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill 2012).
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According to the researchers, the relative amount of juniors from lower social circles remained almost without changes for the last century. To be precise, the amount of students willing to get a graduate degree has enlarged; however, so did the amount of the representatives among students from every social class (Davis 2010). As a result, the disparity between students that had been obvious for many decades until the middle of the last century has finally retained to the end. Even the accelerated extension of university education during the beginning of the 1990s was not able to withstand it. Nowadays there is a broad spectrum of signs that depict detriment and prudent reviews of the past decade that allow to state with a precision that the disparity has been reducing significantly (Bolton 2010). Undergraduates from a disadvantaged environment have expanded their enrolment in the institutions of higher education on more rapid absolute ratio than the student with more beneficial upbringing. Nonetheless, there are a number of discrete factors that affect the dynamics of changes and are the reason for delaying the vanishing of the breaches in participation in higher education among students.
Factors Impacting the Diversity of Students of Different Social Groups
The primary argument in the favour of diversities in enrolment ratios among students of different social classes is the connection with family history, educational aspects, and the attitude towards the price and advantages of higher education. Nonetheless, there is a much broader extent of concerns that that affect the decision to enrol in an institution of higher education than a social background. These are “encouraging factors, discouraging factors, influencers, information, choice of institution and course and part-time education” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 4). Further, the research paper will provide a more detailed definition of these terms in order to evaluate the interdependence of social class and university education better.
One of the primary stimulating elements is an assumption that a graduate degree will allow to obtain a more excelling job, an outlook for a better career, advanced paying and job preservation in general. However, only an outnumbered group of researched undergraduates claimed to take their career and future job into consideration while choosing their course of higher education. Individuals from higher social classes tend to accentuate the profitable result from their higher education than students from disadvantaged environments. The profitable results of education also are a target priority for students from different ethnic groups, of senior age and with occupational entry eligibility.
The primary dispiriting factor against higher education aims its attention on employment as well as the encouraging factor (Fees and higher education 2014). “The main reasons why people from lower social class groups had decided against going on to higher education study, though qualified to get a place, are twofold. They either wanted to start employment, earn money and be independent at an earlier age, or they had a career or job goal in mind which did not require a degree qualification” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 4). The students of the lower social classes are concerned about their expenses, the costs of higher education, possible debt and its outcome – combining education with work.
Preceding development of knowledge and family history can act as a decisive factor of enrolling into an institution of higher education, meaning that people involved in education can have different impacts on the decision course. “In particular for lower social class potential entrants, college tutors could be a key group of positive influencers on potential students, as were friends and family with current or recent higher education experience” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 6).
Nowadays there is more than enough material for higher education available; however, frequently it is considered to be unreasonably intricate and excessively inexact. The main breach in material available concerns the finances and its probable advantage regarding future career and employment. The greater part of the undergraduates from lower social circles feels that the material that they had about the course of their higher education study and its cost was not sufficient enough.
Choice of Institution and Course
“Institutions are chosen by lower social class students mainly for reasons related to both cost (mostly to do with living away/staying close to home) and personal interest in specific subjects or courses offered by them” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 6).
Part-time students are more likely to have disadvantaged social background than their full-time mates. The issues of working for a living, career, and enrolment into companies and organizations are more vital to them than higher education due to less encouragement from their family and other various commitments related to their background. Moreover, part-time students from lower social classes are more inclined on depending on their private money funds while receiving higher education.
After observing diverse factors that impact the level of participating in higher education, several policy endorsements would be suggested. “The benefits of higher education should be better and more widely communicated. In particular, outcomes associated with improved employability and finance need to be given more prominence, though it is recognized that this is an area of variability across student body, especially in the first years after graduation” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 7). Furthermore, the help of advisers should be implemented in order to help students from lower social classes to communicate with people with contemporary experience of higher education. As a result, undergraduates with various social backgrounds would be able to attend the school or college of their choice and debate over their hopes and expectations of higher education with other, more competent students. Finance issue becomes an acute problem for students of lower social classes. “Affording the costs of higher education, while not by itself the single prohibitive factor, is a discouragement. The low-income families could be helped by better guidance on the financial support available and the likely net costs of different options for them, according to their different circumstances” (Connor & Dewson 2001, p. 7). The material on financial support and benefits should be introduced in a way that a student with every social background would able to retrieve it at the beginning of the course of decision-making and choosing an institution of higher education.
Bolton, P 2010, Higher education and social class, House of Commons Library, Westminster.
Connor, H & Dewson, S 2001, Social class and higher education, Institute for Employment Studies, Falmer.
Davis, R 2010, Does your social class decide if you go to university? Get the full list of colleges, Web.
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Saunders, M, Lewis, P & Thornhill, A 2012, Research methods for business students, Pearson Education, New York.