The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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Newcastle sociologists explore how social class shapes university entrance, engagement and experience.

Sue Coulson, Lisa Garforth and Emeritus Professor Geoff Payne explore ‘Admissions, adaptations and anxieties’ in higher education in a new book chapter co-authored with Newcastle Sociology graduate Emily Wastell. The chapter draws on Emily’s undergrad dissertation research into relationships among social class, friendship groups and student engagement. Emily continues to work in education with Success4All which supports peer learning hubs in areas of low educational achievement across Newcastle. We are proud to honour Emily’s achievements in her career and now as an author!

The chapter also examines the ambiguous ways that elite universities mobilise ideas of class and access in admissions discourses and explores the experiences of students entering Russell Group universities through widening participation routes. ‘Admissions, adaptations and anxieties: social class inside and outside the elite university’ (Coulson, Garforth, Payne and Wastell 2018) is in Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University Admissions, Experiences, and Outcomes (eds. Waller et al 2018). Part of Routledge’s flagship Sociological Futures series, the book explores university education, social inequalities and social mobility in an era of mass HE participation.

published on: 19 October 2017