The mismeasure of participation: how choosing the 'wrong' statistic helped seal the fate of Aimhigher
Friday, 21 December 2012 | Admin
The mismeasure of participation: how choosing the 'wrong' statistic helped seal the fate of Aimhigher by Neil Harrison
Extant between 2004 and 2011, Aimhigher was the UK government’s flagship national initiative for widening participation to higher education for young people from disadvantaged social groups, with costs approaching £1billion. Its demise was predicated on a perceived lack of progress and the absence of compelling evaluative research. This paper argues that this ‘lack of progress’ was at least partly due to a confusion in the implementation of the policy aim leading, inter alia, to the late adoption of a poor outcome measure that underestimated improvements in participation from the target groups and focused on the wrong stage of entry to higher education.