A contribution from GSM London is included in a collection of essays by senior higher education figures that has been published today by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) think tank and the social mobility charity Brightside. The publication, Where next for widening participation and fair access? New insights from leading thinkers, brings together ideas to help ensure that the opportunity of higher education is open to all, regardless of background.
GSM London's contribution, co-written by our Provost Debi Hayes and Head of Strategic Communications Mark Fuller, outlines how our innovative approach provides opportunities for people otherwise underrepresented in higher education. Drawing from our experience of teaching a distinctive student body, the essay discusses how different educational approaches can help people from a diversity of backgrounds get the most from higher education.
It argues that:
‘Simply compelling a greater range of people into systems that comply with long-established ideas of what higher education looks and feels like is likely to be met with indifference at best and outright alienation at worse. The debate about how best to expand opportunities should be less about the value of alternative providers and more about the need for alternative provision.’
The essay is included alongside essays by some of the UK's leading widening participation thinkers and practitioners, including Les Ebdon, the UK's Director for Fair Access.