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In 1998 education was declared “the best economic policy that we have” (Department for Education and Employment [DfEE], 1998) highlighting links between educational attainment and potential earning power. It was from this point on that widening participation became an integral part of what education policy was about. Importantly, alongside this notion comes the assumption that economic, social, political and cultural injustices can be solved through education and up skilling. Offered as an opinion piece, for work that is on-going and expanding, this paper critiques the use of the most salient educational economic driver of the last 20-25 years, namely widening participation. This paper argues that the consequences of widening participation in higher education have been concealment of continuing social divisions, largely because they have been underpinned by neo-liberal rhetoric. It suggests counter-action through transgressive learning and teaching practice towards a consequence of remaking higher education that works more effectively for the disenfranchised and marginalised.
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