Evening Lecture

Jackie McManus (London)

Hopes and Fears for Art: policy and practice in widening participation in art and design higher education in the UK

In spite of considerable efforts to increase the social and ethnic diversity of higher education students in the UK, the academy continues to be dominated by white middle class students and is highly stratified by institution and subject area. This paper discusses the policy and practice of the project of widening participation in the UK focusing on art and design education. It draws on research undertaken with working class young people about their choice of degree subject, and on a national research project examining the admissions process in art schools in the UK. Finally, it looks at art and design widening participation programmes in London with some of the city’s poorest young people, and considers the future of this work in the context of the marketisation of higher education.