Widening Access in University Admissions

45 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2023

See all articles by Battal Doğan

Battal Doğan

School of Economics, University of Bristol

Aytek Erdil

University of Cambridge

Date Written: December 21, 2022


Widening access to higher education remains a significant policy challenge. While meeting student intake targets in university admissions is notoriously difficult, additionally pursuing access targets makes universities’ decision problem even more complicated. We introduce a choice procedure, Access-First with Transfers (AFT), that meets the university’s access and intake targets to the extent possible with the most qualified applicants. The key element of this procedure is its systematic adjustment of targets in response to fluctuations in applicant numbers. We formulate a fairness concept for matchings that strikes a balance between widening access and merit-based allocation. We introduce the Flexible Access and Intake Targets mechanism, which incorporates AFT into a strategy-proof centralised admission system and finds the unique student-optimal fair matching.

Keywords: Widening access, university admissions, access-first with transfers, felixible access and intake targets.

JEL Classification: C70, D61, D63, I23, I24.

Suggested Citation

Doğan, Battal and Erdil, Aytek, Widening Access in University Admissions (December 21, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4309391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4309391

Battal Doğan (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Bristol ( email )

United Kingdom

Aytek Erdil

University of Cambridge ( email )

Faculty of Economics
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom

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