'First in Family' University Graduates in England

40 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Morag Henderson

Morag Henderson

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

Dominique Shure

University College London

Anna Adamecz-Völgyi

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

Abstract

Universities around the world are attempting to increase the diversity of their student population. This includes individuals who are 'first in family' (FiF), those who achieve a university degree, but whose (step) parents did not. We provide the first large scale, quantitative evidence on FiF graduates in England using a nationally representative survey linked to administrative education data. We find that FiF young people make up 18 percent of a recent cohort, comprising nearly two-thirds of all university graduates. Comparing individuals with no parental higher education we show that ethnic minorities and those with higher levels of prior attainment are more likely to experience intergenerational educational mobility and become a FiF. Once at university, those who are FiF are more likely to study Law, Economics and Management and less likely to study other Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities than students whose parents are university graduates. We also find evidence that FiF students are less likely to graduate from elite universities and have a higher probability of dropping out, even after prior educational attainment, individual characteristics and socio-economic status are taken into account.

Keywords: higher education, widening participation, university access, dropout, intergenerational educational mobility

JEL Classification: I21, I23, I24

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Morag and Shure, Dominique and Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna, 'First in Family' University Graduates in England. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12588, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449582

Morag Henderson (Contact Author)

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

Dominique Shure

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Anna Adamecz-Völgyi

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
29
Abstract Views
166
PlumX Metrics