The limits of social mobility

Author: Jude Heaton, Trustee, Bridge Group and Director, Global Learning Lab

At the Bridge Group, we think the terms of the debate on social equality need to change. The ways in which we frame our discussion carry important implications for where we direct our attention, and the types of structural change that are possible as a result. As part of that effort to reframe the narrative,

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Looking beyond social mobility: advancing social equality

Author: Nik Miller, Chief Executive, Bridge Group

It’s important to understand the limitations of the social mobility agenda – and the initiatives it has given rise to – to focus energies on crafting meaningful and lasting solutions to achieve social equality. Our trustee, Jude Heaton, has helpfully, and clearly, set out the limits of the social mobility narrative to effect positive structural

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Commuting students: a problem or an opportunity?

Author: Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University, and Bridge Group Fellow

Division between ‘commuters’ and ‘movers’ in higher education In 2017 David Goodhart’s book The Road to Somewhere was published, setting out an argument that the UK has become divided between ‘somewhere’ and ‘anywhere’ people. This divide, he suggests, is reflected in differences in the values people hold and how and whether they vote in elections, and was

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Understanding the barriers and how to overcome them: achieving socio-economic diversity

Author: Dr Louise Ashley, Bridge Group Fellow

Up until the middle part of the twentieth century and arguably beyond, professions such as law, investment banking and accountancy were seen as relative bastions of privilege, defined in the popular imagination, for example, by City gents in bowler hats. Over the past thirty years, these occupations have worked hard to address these stereotypes, including

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What is the social class background of academics?

Author: Professor Paul Wakeling, Bridge Group Fellow

Concerns about equality and diversity are rightly high on the agenda in higher education at present. The representativeness and diversity of academic staff, especially at professor level, has been a recent focus. Campaigns such as #whyismyprofessorwhite have highlighted significant issues with the progression of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff into senior academic positions. The

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The performance of merit: hidden barriers to professional success

Author: Dr Sam Friedman, Bridge Group Fellow

It may have little to do with skill or ability but, as Dr Sam Friedman explains, looking good and sounding right still plays a big part in who gets ahead in Britain’s elite occupations.

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Beyond widening participation: place-making, regional development, and the challenge of social equality in rural and coastal areas

Author: Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln, and Bridge Group Fellow

Over the last few years, the country has woken up to the fact that disadvantage varies by geography as well as by social group.  Those of us who live and work in a rural or coastal area have argued this point many times, but it seems policy makers finally understand this challenge. For example, the

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Can we really improve social mobility while maintaining high levels of income inequality?

Author: Professor Anna Vignoles, Bridge Group Fellow

In a world where the number of good jobs is stable or declining: for every poor child who moves up the socioeconomic ladder, a richer child must move down. Will privileged parents be happy to remain complicit as their children lose out in the name of equity?

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Unequal progression in the professions by background: the imperative for employers

Author: Dr Kenton Lewis, Bridge Group Fellow

Dr Kenton Lewis MBE will be reflect on the relationship between progression in graduate employment roles and socio-economic background. This will be informed through learning identified from the Bridge Group’s own exploration of, and support for, some of the UKs most significant graduate employers over the last year, and will comment on the extent to

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Playing the interview game: social background and language capital

Author: Marianne Blattès, Research Officer, Bridge Group

During interviews, candidates are judged not just on what they say, but how they say it. Being able to play the “interview game” does not necessarily reflect adequate preparation or individual competence. Rather, it is a sign of mastering institutional and organisational discourses. Knowledge of how to perform well in an interview is unequally distributed in society.

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