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Speaker series: Associate Professor Neil Harrison, UWE

'Students-as-insurers: rethinking decisions, uncertainty and risk for disadvantaged young people considering higher education'

Event details

Associate Professor Neil Harrison, of University of the West of England, will be opening our speaker series.

The conventional view since the early 2000s has been that progression to higher education is a risky pathway for disadvantaged young people in England to choose, with both financial and social risks.  However, even as the costs of higher education have risen and the returns have become more questionable, demand from disadvantaged young people has counterintuitively continued to rise.  The global financial crisis and the growth of the higher education sector have significantly altered the nature of the youth labour market, with greater precarity and more jobs becoming 'graduate' by weight of numbers.  In addition, the modest diversification of higher education has made it appear somewhat more inclusive.  This talk will draw on theoretical perspectives from Beck, Boudon, Simon and Kahneman to argue that disadvantaged students increasingly view higher education as a form of insurance rather than investment, with higher education becoming less risky relative to early entry into the labour market.



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