Higher Education

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 107–146 | Cite as

Wider access and progression among full-time students

  • Muir Houston
  • Hazel Knox
  • Russell RimmerEmail author


By 2010 the UK government intends to widen access and provide experience of higher education to half of those aged up to 30. Unlike many institutions, University of Paisley (UP) has exceeded its individual target on access. It has done this by providing entry routes for students with ‘non-traditional’ qualifications. It is feared that low entry qualifications will adversely influence performance and progression statistics as wider access is pursued. Drawing on a student-attrition theory, performance and progression are investigated using data for students enrolling at UP for the first time in 2000. At UP non-traditional entry coincided with the enrolment of many students over 21. The relationships between age and performance and between age and progression are nonlinear and involve interactions with gender. Also, there are interactions between entry qualification and field of study. These relationships and interactions could complicate the important task of translating wider access into academic success.


academic performance age entry qualification fields of study gender progression 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity of StirlingScotland, UK
  2. 2.Centre for Learning and TeachingUniversity of PaisleyScotland, UK
  3. 3.Paisley Business SchoolUniversity of PaisleyPaisleyScotland, UK

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