This three and a half year project investigated factors that facilitate or impede participation in higher education and examined the different approaches taken by state and private providers to widening participation in Ghana and Tanzania. It involved the examination of policy frameworks and codes of practice for widening participation of under-represented groups. It also included evaluating the success of widening participation initiatives - where they existed - via scrutiny of statistical data and interviews with key staff, policymakers and community advocates. Life-history interviews were also conducted to capture the experiences of students from 'non-traditional' backgrounds.
*** This project was awarded an "Outstanding" classification by the ESRC Peer Reviewers in 2011 ***
*** This project was selected by the ESRC as a Case Study for Impact ***
Conference Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact
10th anniversary conference of the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research
16-18 March 2016
Pretoria, South Africa
Professor Fiona Leach presented the findings and impact from the Widening Participation in Higher Education in Ghana and Tanzania research project.
This three-day conference, hosted by the Impact Initiative, brought together researchers, knowledge brokers, research commissioners and others to reflect on and share lessons from more than 130 research projects supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) since 2005.
Download Fiona's presentation: WPHEGT Presentation: Pretoria March 2016 [PPTX 949.88KB]
Professor Louise Morley made a keynote presentation at the Annual Conference of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) in London on 27th June on Private Higher Education in the Commonwealth.
The Council is a UK Parliament-based nongovermental organisation based in London which provides a forum for activating interest and support for education in the Commonwealth. It also seeks to mobilise opinion and action in the UK and elsewhere on behalf of the Commonwealth education co-operation.
Download Louise's presentation: Inside African Private Higher Education: Contradictions and Challenges [PPT 2.42MB]
The Economic and Social Research Council, which oversaw the project and the Department for International Development, which funded it, also fund other projects in this field and publish the results on their websites:
Partner universities hosting and supporting the research
One of the project's primary objectives was to establish what steps are being taken to reduce poverty in context of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
Other organisations engaged in acccess to higher education
- Association of Commonwealth Universities
- Boston College Center for International Higher Education
- University of Dar es Salaam Gender Centre
- Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transition and Equity at the University of Sussex
Other NGO's that engage in advocacy and information sharing in education include the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).