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Introduction: Developing a Conceptual Framework for Access to Education for Socio-economically Marginalised Groups: A Systems Focus

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Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 21)

Abstract

The key purpose of this book is to develop a system level scrutiny to promote access to higher education and lifelong learning for socio-economically excluded groups in Europe. Traditional research on barriers to accessing education tends to focus on discrete issues such as situational, institutional, dispositional or informational deterrents rather than examining these issues in a holistic, systemic fashion. Generally, research in education has tended to neglect a systemic approach. The conceptual framework developed in this book will seek to translate structural features of system change into structural indicators for system scrutiny and accountability (at macro-exosystem and meso-microsystem levels) for a social inclusion agenda. In this interrogation of systems of access to (a) higher education, (b) non-formal education and (c) prison education, the primary dimension for current purposes is access to education with regard to social exclusion and social class. This will be done by analogy with the UN framework on the right to health which has done much to develop systemic examination through structural indicators.

The scope of the research findings presented in this book is based on national reports, completed in 2010, from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Scotland and Slovenia, as part of a European Commission Funded Project. Across the 12 national reports, 196 interviews took place in total with members of senior management from 83 education institutions, as well as from senior officials in government departments relevant to lifelong learning in each country. Of these, 69 interviews were with senior representatives from higher education across 30 institutions. This research is qualitative in focus. The findings across the participating countries are intended to be illustrative of relevant issues and practices regarding access to education for socio-economically marginalised groups rather than being exhaustive. A particular focus in this book is on Central and Eastern European contexts. Institutions were selected for the national reports so that major kinds of institutions providing adult education were represented. It was also sought to include major state universities in each national report. Interviews were conducted with senior management of education institutions, as well as senior government officials and other stakeholders in adult education, such as non-formal education institutions and community groups and those involved at a senior level in prisons and prison education.

Keywords

High Education Social Exclusion Lifelong Learning National Report Adult Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Disadvantage Centre St. Patrick’s CollegeDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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