‘Part-time mature students and (the unexpected benefits of?) access to the arts’.

Butcher, John and Clarke, Anactoria (2022). ‘Part-time mature students and (the unexpected benefits of?) access to the arts’. In: Broadhead, Samantha ed. Access and Widening Participation in Arts Higher Education: Current Practice and Research. The Arts in Higher Education. Switzerland: Springer Nature - Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 119–139.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97450-3_6


In the UK, the last 20 years have witnessed a plethora of research outputs, as well as millions spent, on generic approaches to widening participation to higher education. However, since the demise of the National Arts Learning Network (NALN) in 2009 (a nationwide collaboration between specialist arts institutions across England, funded by Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE), to widen participation into the arts), access to the arts has remained relatively under-explored. Notable exceptions include analysis of inequitable admissions practices in art and design (Burke & McManus, 2011) and descriptions of the use of arts activities in school-based aspiration-raising outreach (Felton et al., 2015). However, as a sector, we have significantly less-developed understanding of the impact of preparatory programmes aimed at supporting progression into undergraduate study in the arts.

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