Cultural and human capital, information and higher education choices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • BRISTOL UNIVERSITY

Abstract

This study examines ways in which economic and sociological explanations of higher education (HE) choices may intersect through student’s use of information. We find substantial positive associations between intention to go to university in England and each of: (i) parents’ education; (ii) cultural capital; and (iii) expectations of the size of the graduate premium. We also find an association between beliefs about the size of the graduate premium and cultural capital. These results support an integrated model of participation in HE in which social and economic factors are treated as complementary rather than competing explanations. The results run counter to previous research which has found that associations between participation in HE and socio-economic status (SES) largely disappear once students’ attainment is taken into account. One policy implication of this research is that some indicators of SES (notably household income, eligibility for free school meals or parental occupation) are sub-optimal for interventions to widen participation in HE.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-825
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Volume29
Issue number6
Early online date6 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • economics, sociology