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      The discourse of widening participation and its critics: an institutional case study

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          Abstract

          This paper takes as its focus the contradictory discourse of widening participation (WP). We argue that given the conflicting accounts of WP it is highly unlikely that higher education staff will be able articulate a coherent definition of WP practice. We illustrate our thesis with an institutional case study which analysed policy documents and was based on in-depth interviews with staff. We found that not only did staff have contradictory definitions of WP, but that those who saw themselves as committed questioned the commitment of others. Thus despite institutional rhetoric our participants fell back on personal values when implementing WP activity.

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          Journal
          10430
          London Review of Education
          IOE Press
          1474-8460
          01 July 2010
          : 8
          : 2
          : 105-115
          Article
          1474-8460(20100701)8:2L.105;1- s2.phd /ioep/clre/2010/00000008/00000002/art00002
          10.1080/14748460.2010.487328
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          London Review of Education
          Volume 8, Issue 2

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