Entering and moving through university, and joining the graduate labour market: the challenge of social class - School of Computing Seminar Series

Start date and time

Wednesday 29 November 2017


Core44, Room C44 Merchiston

There is growing concern in policy-making circles and society at large about the persistence of social class as an obstacle to social mobility across the UK. A university education is often seen as a key catalyst to enhancing a person’s social and economic life chances. However, graduate status for students from lower-income families does not always enable them to enter prestigious professional careers on an equal footing with better-off peers. The Paired Peers study (2010-2013) explored some of the reasons for this through a three-year qualitative study comparing students’ experiences at the two universities in Bristol (University of Bristol and the University of the West of England). The follow-up study Paired Peers: Moving On (2014-2017) has tracked the same cohort into the next stages of career-building and employment revealing significant differences in student outcomes.
This seminar will give participants the opportunity to:
· Hear about the Paired Peers Research and the effect of socio-economic background on student experience and employment
· Explore some of the issues around aspirations, careers, placements and job-hunting that arose from the research
· Consider practical strategies to support students from similar backgrounds into graduate employment

Dr Richard Waller is an Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has taught extensively in further and higher education since 1994/95, and joined UWE full-time in 2003. His research interests revolve around education and social justice, widening participation to FE and HE, education and identity, student experiences of post-compulsory education and teaching and learning in further and higher education. He has published extensively on these topics, including many outputs from Paired Peers.