Widening Participation: a practice of hope

warhol kruger clouds

Silver Clouds, Billy Kruger and Andy Warhol 1966

Our Fair Access Researchers have written a blog-post exploring the necessity of hope and solidarity for widening participation – particularly when any glimpse of a silver cloud seems very out of reach.

Drawing on the work of José Esteban Muñoz, our researchers see hope as a troubling but very necessary thing for those working to transform higher education:

“Practicing educated hope, participating in a mode of revolutionary consciousness, is not simply conforming to one group’s doxa at the expense of another’s…It is not about announcing the way things ought to be, but, instead, imagining what things could be. It is thinking beyond the narrative of what stands for the world today by seeing it as not enough” (from Duggan and Muñoz, 2009: 278).

One of the cornerstones of the Fair Access Research project is that it is through working and learning together that just such a hope can be practiced.

Developing the thinking that underpinned an article that suggested how research can be used to better enable and embed an institutional culture that works for social justice, Maggie and Alex are now researching how the ideas, rhetoric and policies of widening participation are being learnt in different organisations. To contribute to this research and share your learning, please do complete our survey for the sector to help understand this more. They will be going up to Liverpool over the coming weeks to do some fieldwork with colleagues in different organisations.

For more information about the Fair Access Research project please email the Principal InvestigatorsDr Vanessa Heaslip and Dr Clive Hunt.