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      Widening participation; widening capability

      London Review of Education

      IOE Press

      WIDENING PARTICIPATION, HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY, EQUALITY, CAPABILITY FORMATION, STUDENT LEARNING

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          Abstract

          This paper proposes that widening participation in higher education might distinctively be conceptualised beyond economically driven human capital outcomes, as a matter of widening capability. Specifically, the paper proposes forming the capability of students to become and to be 'strong evaluators', able to make reflexive and informed choices about what makes a good life for each of them. Evaluating equality and justice in higher education, and specifically the case of 'widening participation', is then greatly advanced by considering the conceptual tools provided by Amartya Sen's capability approach. The paper therefore elaborates on Sen's ideas and demonstrates their applicability in relation to widening participation student voices gathered in research interviews. Important though Sen's ideas are, there are barriers that stand in the way of taking up these ideas educationally. While three such barriers are acknowledged in the paper, four resources of possibility for recovering widening participation as capability formation from neoliberal and other forms of instrumentalism are also sketched.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          10430
          London Review of Education
          IOE Press
          1474-8460
          01 November 2008
          : 6
          : 3
          : 267-279
          Article
          1474-8460(20081101)6:3L.267;1- s7.phd /ioep/clre/2008/00000006/00000003/art00007
          10.1080/14748460802489397
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          London Review of Education
          Volume 6, Issue 3

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