OFFA Access Agreements - Content and discourse analysis
Leading research on the widening participation agenda in the higher education sector in England using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Political Discourse Analysis (PDA)
For this strand of my research (mainly funded by REF time) I have taken a sample of higher education institutions’ (HEI) access agreements and followed them historically since the first iteration in 2006, to yield a comparison between HEI types and over time. This enables me to identify changes in policy and priorities in relation to outreach and financial support for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Latterly I have used a discourse analysis frame to show how HEI have responded to marketisation pressures and government agendas and how this varies by type, and have extended this to incorporate a critical political discourse methodology, setting access agreements data. This ongoing programme of work, using the same sample of institutions’ access agreements, has been highlighted in a variety of conference presentations, journal articles and book chapters. It has also indirectly led to commissioned research including for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Office for Fair Access, and the Higher Education Academy.
Colin has become recognised as one of the pre-eminent researchers in the interface between the marketisation of English higher education and the policy of widening participation. He will publish two books on these themes during the course of 2018.
- McCaig, C. (2018) The marketisation of English Higher Education: a policy analysis of a risk-based system. Emerald Publishing (in press).
- Bowl, M., McCaig, C., and Hughes, J. (eds) (2018) Equality and Differentiation in Marketised Higher Education: A New Level Playing Field? Palgrave. Palgrave Studies in Excellence and Equity in Global Education ISBN 978-3-319-78312-3 ISBN 978-3-319-78313-0 (eBook)
- McCaig, C. and Harrison, N. (2017) Examining the epistemology of impact and success of educational interventions using a reflective case study of university bursaries. British Educational Research Journal, Volume 43 No.2, pp.290-310.
- McCaig, C. (2016) The retreat from Widening Participation? The National Scholarship Programme and new Access Agreements in English Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, Volume 41, Issue 2, 2016, pp.215-230.
- McCaig, C. (2015) Marketisation and Widening Participation in English Higher Education: a critical discourse analysis of institutional access policy documents. Higher Education Review. Volume 48, No.1 Autumn 2015
- McCaig, C. (2015) The Impact of the Changing English Higher Education Marketplace on Widening Participation and Fair Access: Evidence from a Discourse Analysis of Access Agreements, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, Volume 17, Issue 1, March 2015, pp. 5-22(18) ISSN: 1466-6529
- McCaig, C. (2011) Trajectories of higher education system differentiation: structural policymaking and the impact of tuition fees in England and Australia in the Special Issue of the Journal of Education and Work: ‘National Structural Higher Education Policy and Politics in Times of Globalization and their effects on social inequality’, Vol. 24, Nos. 1–2, February–April 2011, 7–25.
- McCaig, C. and Adnett, N. (2009) English Universities, Additional Fee Income and Access Agreements: their impact on Widening Participation and Fair Access, British Journal of Education Studies, Vol. 57, No.1 March 2009 pp.18-36.