We conduct a randomised controlled trial in the South West of England to evaluate a policy to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to apply to selective universities. Current university students visited local schools and colleges, providing accurate information on the costs and benefits of university, and giving inspirational talks about making that decision. We find that there is a significant effect on the likelihood of students successfully applying to a selective university, but weaker effects on other outcomes. We find that effects are largest for students attending further education colleges, which typically cater for more disadvantaged students (in our sample, 6.2% of students in schools are eligible for free school meals compared to 7.4% in colleges) and offer a wider range of vocational courses. We suggest avenues for future research in this area.
Burgess, SimonChande, RajDilnot, CatherineKozman, ElizaMacmillan, LindseySanders, Michael
Oxford Brookes Business School\Oxford Brookes Business School\Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-24
© the Authors, 2018. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning [v. 20, no. 4, p. 57-80, 2018, https://doi.org/10.5456/WPLL.20A.57].