Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity

Broecke, Stijn and Hamed, Joseph (2008): Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity.

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Abstract

In this paper, we use two new datasets to explore the extent to which the gender gap in higher education participation amongst young people in England is related to prior attainment. We find no conclusive evidence of a gender difference in the likelihood of participating in higher education once prior attainment is controlled for. We do find, however, that young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are overwhelmingly more likely to enter higher education compared to White people with the same prior attainment. In the case of young people who were eligible for free school meals, we find that prior attainment explains the vast majority of the gap in participation compared to non-FSM pupils, however we still find a small, negative (and statistically significant) effect, which we could not eliminate entirely in any of our models.

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