Widening participation – though it has only recently been labelled as such – has been a continuing concern for policy-makers and higher education institutions in the United Kingdom since 1945 (and before).
This article reviews the evidence for four key target groups
- lower socio-economic groups,
- mature adults, and
- ethnic minorities
It concludes that, while progress in the recruitment of women, mature adults and ethnic minorities has been substantial – though with some qualifications – it has been much less so for lower socio-economic groups.