The Influence of Geographical Location on Participation in Higher Education

Date: 07th June 2023

Location: Online (TEAMS) from 09.45 to 13.15

Please note this event is for Members only

Although Davies et al. (2021) found that social class and ethnicity were the most important influences on higher education participation, geographical factors are also significant. Their research revealed how an ‘urban escalator’ effect driven by a historical ‘vortex of influences’ appeared to be increasing progression to elite universities for those in urban centres such as London. Donnelly and Gamsu (2018) described how factors such as geography, local economies, transport links and higher education provision have an impact on student mobility, with students from the northern regions of England, especially the North East, more restricted than those in the south.

Student mobility is a major dimension of inequality within higher education choice and experience, with students from disadvantaged backgrounds much more likely to be living at home and studying with a local higher education provider.

Universities, colleges and partnerships such as Uni Connect are increasingly taking into account the regional context in which people live when considering their educational progression. This event will explore the complex relationship between the geographical and socio-economic factors that might influence an individual’s capacity to access educational opportunities.

Participants will have the opportunity to come together with NERUPI members, learn from leading academics about their research in this field, hear examples of current practice from colleagues working in regional-based initiatives and explore strategies for supporting the educational progression of people whilst taking into account the regional context in which they live.

Our keynote speakers at this event are:

Professor Michael Donnelly, University of Bath

Dr Avril Keating, University College London

We will also hear practice examples of working in regional and local communities from:

The Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire (HeppSY)


The full programme is now available here

Suggested Pre-event Reading:

Geographies of elite higher education participation: An urban ‘escalator’ effect

Davies J, Donnelly M, and Sandoval-Hernandez, A.

British Educational Research Journal, 13 March 2021

Youth Attitudes Towards Their Future: the Role of Resources, Agency and Individualism in the UK

Keating A, and Melis G.

Journal of Applied Youth Studies, 25 November 2021