The Capability Approach: Positively Supporting Student Success

Date: 11th March 2019


Please note this event is for Members only

This session will explore the Capability Approach and how and why it can be used in WP interventions, teaching and learning. There will be links to the NERUPI Framework, case studies and opportunities for participants to review their provision.

The event is relevant to colleagues involved in planning and evaluating activities, especially:

  • transition and bridging programmes, post-entry WP
  • curriculum planning and learning support provision
  • outreach activities which aim to raise attainment

Monica McLean, Professor in Higher Education at the Centre for International Education Research, University of Nottingham, is our keynote speaker. Monica's research focuses on pedagogy and outcomes in higher education. She will talk about use of the Capability or Capabilities Approach in teaching and learning and the links to widening participation work. Injustices of higher education which concern widening participation professionals occur in three phases:

  • coming into higher education (access)
  • being at university (participation)
  • going out of university into the rest of life (outcomes)

To illustrate how the capability approach can be used for thinking about distributive inequalities in higher education, Professor McLean's presentation will focus on participation (post entry widening participation). Participation in higher education is conceptualised as capability expanding, that is as expanding opportunities and freedoms for individuals to be and/or do what they value.

Sally Tazewell is a Lecturer and HE Adviser to the WIN NCOP. Sally will present a case study on a new approach to study skills provision using the NERUPI Framework to mobilise Funds of Knowledge. Given the increasingly diverse profile of students currently in higher education, it is perhaps surprising that their rich pre-university and out-of-university knowledge, skills and experience often remain unrecognised or are side-lined in the face of more traditionally valued and powerful ‘academic’ knowledge. Using the NERUPI framework alongside a capabilities approach enables us to empower students to identify, label and mobilise their existing skillsets in support of their academic development.

Event Programme

Download programme for 11 March 2019


How higher education research using the capability approach illuminates possibilities for the transformation of individuals and society in South Africa

Sociological Knowledge and Transformation in: Socially Just Pedagogies, Capabilities and Qualities in Higher Education

Curricula and Pedagogic Potentials when Educating Diverse Students in Higher Education