Learning in a Cold Spot - Rurality and Choice in Higher Education

Batkin, Jane (2022) Learning in a Cold Spot - Rurality and Choice in Higher Education. WONKHE . ISSN 08784934 WONKHE 2022

Full content URL: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/whats-it-like-to-learn-in...

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In 2019, Baroness Morgan asked an audience “how can we be the greatest place in the world to grow up?” and announced that we needed to give the next generation the best possible chance to succeed, “no matter where they come from”. However, statistically, where they come from matters. The North East and the East Midlands had the second highest poverty rates after Inner London, at 17%, in the Child of the North Report published in 2020, but inequalities exist both in the North and South divide and between the Urban and the rural. Unhelpfully, in 2020, the UK Minister of State for Universities announced that it didn’t matter which groups went to university, deflating this important issue (Trahar, 2020). Social mobility coldspots in the UK are located in coastal and rural areas, with youngsters struggling against barriers to life and learning as they grow up. Yet a student posted on a national forum recently to ask if anyone had a list of rural universities in the UK, stating: “I’m talking middle of nowhere at best, but I could survive a small town”.

In the ‘new normal’ landscape where we share our lives with the pandemic, rurality has become our significant Other; but for many students, rural HE has always been their first choice. So what it is that draws students to study in the middle of nowhere, what do they want and how do we ensure, in this uneven and uncertain landscape, that they get it?

Keywords:Higher Education, Learning, Rurality, Social mobility, Lincoln
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:49991
Deposited On:29 Jun 2022 15:21

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