Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The educational divide

Catching up with news after a long period of unexpected leave. The first thing I came across was a story about the educational divide: "Britain is becoming increasingly divided along educational lines with degree blackspots springing up in the poorest areas of the country as graduates flock to the capital" according to the Guardian reporting on research from the lecturer's union UCU.

The analysis involves looking at the proportion of working age population with degrees in every parliamentary constituency. What it tells us is that graduates choose to live in some areas (Richmond Park 63% graduates) and not others (Hodge Hill, Birmingham 9.9%). Whatever the newspapers say, it doesn't tell us anything about widening participation (that is about flows into education, not location decisions afterwards) and on whether this pattern is a good or bad thing for people who do not graduate.