Citation Ferguson J & Griffiths D (2018) Preparing Versus Persuading: Inequalities between Scottish State schools in University Application Guidance Practices. Social Sciences, 7 (9), Art. No.: 169. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7090169.
Abstract A university education is often regarded as a means for increasing social mobility, with attendance at a leading university seen as a pathway to an advantaged socio-economic status. However, inequalities are observable in attendance levels at leading UK universities, with children from less advantaged backgrounds less likely to attend the top universities (generally known as the Russell Group institutions). In this paper, we explore the different levels of assistance provided to state school children in preparing for their university applications. Guidance teachers and pupils at a range of Scottish state schools were interviewed. We find that inequalities exist in the cultivation of guidance provided by state schools, with high attainment schools focusing on preparing applicants to be desirable to leading universities, whilst low attainment schools focus on persuading their students that university is desirable.
Keywords educational inequalities; university applications; state schools; guidance teachers; personal statements; habitus