Analysis of the factors influencing higher education participation

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis contributes to the theory of the demand for higher education through an empirical analysis of higher education participation in Great Britain (with particular reference to Scotland). Three dimensions of higher education participation are empirically assessed using Higher Education Statistics Agency data: the effects of tuition fees, differences in participation by gender and student mobility. These research themes are pertinent to policy in the provision of higher education.;The chapter 'Tuition Fees and Higher Education Participation' examines the impact of the abolition of tuition fees on higher education enrolment in Scotland. Employing a difference-in-differences methodology, this study shows the effects of abolishing tuition fees on Age Participation Indices in higher education in Scotland. From a policy perspective, the results show that participation rates in higher education are price sensitive and participation is increased by the abolition of tuition fees.;The chapter 'Higher Education Enrolment by Gender' analyses female and male enrolments in higher education in Scotland. Female participation in higher education has become significantly higher than male participation in Scotland. This study analyses factors contributing to differences in participation by gender. The graduate employment rate and the population positively influence female enrolments in higher education. Female price response models are developed to analyse the introduction of the Graduate Endowment Fee on female participation. For the majority of institutions, the Fee did not impact the female share of participation.;The chapter 'Geographical Mobility in Higher Education' explores factors influencing cross country migration in Great Britain for higher education. Using logistic regressions for British micro data from 1998/99 to 2015/16, this study finds age, socio-economic background, institution classification, subject area and regional location contribute to the probability of individuals moving country for higher education. The largest mobility differences across males and females occur by subject area.
Date of Award24 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorRobert Wright (Supervisor) & Roger Perman (Supervisor)

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