Social Mobility in the UK's Higher Education Sector: A Critical Review

Jamie Halsall, Elizabeth Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social mobility is at the forefront of the British Government’s plans to improve the lives of the most deprived groups in society. Since the election of the New Labour government in May 1997, consecutive governments, have championed the concept of social mobility. The fundamental aim of social mobility is to tackle social barriers for disadvantaged groups in education and employment. However, within the social sciences there has been a lack of critical discussion regarding the theorisation of social mobility within the context of higher education (HE). In recent times higher education research has instead had a greater focus on pedagogy. The aim of this review is to critically explore past and current debates on social mobility, and the importance the concept has in the higher education sector. In this paper special reference will be made to the new UK government higher education policy on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Information Systems and Social Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


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