Widening access and literacy
Identifying literacy as a factor impacting on higher education access compels researchers and policy makers to address questions of post-access performance, such as retention, completion or graduation rates, as well as entry. Moreover, bringing literacy into the paradigm of widening access research will require attention to the multiple ways that literacy itself is understood and represented. These can range from the straightforward characterisations of what literacy is, how it is learned and used, that are classically found in most policy texts, to the more complex, socially situated and variable notions of literacy favoured by many academic researchers and literacy educators. These disparities suggest that access research needs to extend the range of its interests to include the quality of educational experience within higher education, and specifically teaching and learning in academic settings.