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Fair Chance Project News and Events

Access to Higher Education in India Webinar - Tuesday 14 July 2020

Yesterday the Fair Chance for Education Project co-hosted (with the Warwick Education Studies Department) its first webinar! The webinar was on the topic of ‘Access to Higher Education in India’ and was very successful, drawing in almost 30 attendees.


The webinar, chaired by Emily Henderson, included a presentation by Nidhi S. Sabharwal (National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi) on ‘Dynamics of inequalities in access to higher education opportunities in India’, a presentation by Anjali Thomas (Warwick Education Studies) on ‘Role played by families in the educational trajectories of undergraduate students in Haryana, India’ and finally a presentation by Akhila Padmanabhan (Visiting student from Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum) on ‘The Role of Different actors in Higher Education Development: Evidence from Kerala, India’. Sudipa Sarkar, from the Warwick Institute for Employment Studies, also participated as the respondent to the three presentations.


The webinar was also widely attended by numerous participants with various experiences and expertise which made for a very rich discussion ranging from how much different factors have to play in students’ access to higher education to the impact that support from different family members can have. We were also delighted to welcome Sumir Karayi, co-founder of the Fair Chance Foundation, as well as members of the project’s Research Advisory Group and Consultative Group to the audience.


Listen to the full webinar recording.

To be kept informed of future project events, you may want to follow us on Twitter: @FCFHaryana. You may also want to follow our speakers and respondent: @01Nidhi ; @AnjaliThomas001 ; @akhilapappan ; @SudipaSarkr

Tue 19 May 2020, 16:17

Webinar on 'Access to Higher Education in India', Monday 18th May 2020, 1:00-3:00pm (Online)

The FCF Project (PI Ann Stewart, Law, Co-I Emily Henderson, Education Studies) and Education Studies are co-hosting a research webinar taking place on Monday 18th May 2020 at 1:00-3:00pm (UK time).
To access the webinar, please click HERE and connect on Microsoft Teams (no license required to take part in this webinar).

The topic of the seminar is ‘Access to Higher Education in India’. The presenters are as follows:

  • Nidhi S. Sabharwal (National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi): Dynamics of inequalities in access to higher education opportunities in India
  • Anjali Thomas (Education Studies): Role played by families in the educational trajectories of undergraduate students in Haryana, India
  • Akhila Padmanabhan (Visiting student from Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum): The Role of Different actors in Higher Education Development: Evidence from Kerala, India 


Emma Smith (Education Studies, Warwick) and Sudipa Sarkar (Institute for Employment Research, Warwick).

We look forward to seeing you online!

Fri 28 Feb 2020, 12:40

The India Project Members Go to the Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference 2019

Project Co-Investigator Emily Henderson, Partner Nidhi Sabharwal, PhD student Anjali Thomas, and Consultative Group member Anjali Tiwari all attended the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference on ‘Creativity, Criticality and Conformity in Higher Education’ last month, on the 12th December 2019.

The members of the project presented in a symposium convened by Emily, and generously supported by the British Council and the FCF Project, on a number of different issues relating to India and higher education. Nidhi’s presentation discussed ‘Student diversity and challenges of inclusion: Understanding experiences of students from socially excluded groups in campuses of higher education in India’, but she also presented alongside Emily (with co-author Roma Smart Joseph in absentia) on ‘Hidden Social Exclusion in Indian Academia: Gender, Caste and Conference Participation’. Anjali Thomas presented findings from the Project Pilot Study in a talk with Emily on ‘Gendered Trajectories and an expansive concept of Access to Higher Education in Haryana, India’. Finally, Anjali Tiwari discussed her doctoral work on‘Higher Education and Social Stereotypes: Exploring Indian Women's Perspectives’.

The event – chaired by Emily – allowed the project members who attended to engage further with each other’s research on issues which are core to the Fair Chance for Education Project, and many attendees at the symposium and the conference more broadly remarked on the positive contribution that the presenters made to the conference curriculum.

Fri 24 Jan 2020, 15:28

October 2019 India Project Visit

In October, Fair Chance for Education Project Principal Investigator, Professor Ann Stewart, made her way to India for a Project visit.

During the visit, Ann, along with PhD student Nikita Samanta currently doing her fieldwork in India, were involved in various meetings with government representatives to get guidance for the project. They also held a seminar on the project with the postgraduate students in the social work department of BPS Women's University Sonipat, kindly hosted by Head of Department Dr Manju Panwar, as well as visited Central University Haryana, where Ann presented her work on women and aging for a panel on ‘Sustainable Development in Environment, Economy and Society’.

Ann and Nikita also met the Research Advisory Group members in Delhi for a conversation on the preliminary findings of the first phase of the Project on Gender and Education in Haryana, and discuss the next phase of the project.

Ann is now back from India to start work on this next phase and Nikita is due to finish her fieldwork at the end of January.

To find out more, see the visit report here.

Fri 10 Jan 2020, 14:22

FCF Team Member Mentioned in NIEPA Centre for Policy Research in Higher Education (CPRHE) Annual Report


The 2018-2019 CPRHE Report from the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration (NIEPA) is out, and both Dr Emily Henderson (Co-I) and Ms Anjali Thomas (PhD) were mentioned in the report. 


In the report, Emily features on pages 58, 59, and 80 in relation to her CPRHE visit in February 2019. More specifically, she is mentioned on page 82, in the program for the International Seminar on ‘Employment and Employability of Higher Education Graduates’ for which Emily was one of the discussants, also during her February 2019 visit.


Anjali Thomas also features in the report, specifically in a picture on page 59 of the report. The picture was taken during Anjali’s time as a visiting scholar at CPRHE. 


To find out more, please see Report here.

Fri 18 Oct 2019, 14:41

A Statement by Anjali Thomas on her Fieldwork Completion

"I successfully collected data for my doctoral thesis from India between October 2018 and April 2019. During this period, I was also a Fellow scholar associated with Centre for Policy Research in Higher Education (CPRHE) at National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) during my field work in India under the direct supervision of Dr. Nidhi Sabharwal at CPRHE, NIEPA. The bulk of my data collection from Haryana was conducted between December 2018 and March 2019. I collected data from Mahendergarh in December 2018 and January 2019, from Sirsa in November 2018 and February 2019 and Sonipat in March 2019. I conducted interviews with 26 undergraduate students from sampled state government colleges across the three students. I also conducted interviews with the families of eleven of these undergraduate participants.

During this time, I also worked on a draft of the Methodology Chapter for my doctoral thesis. To prepare this draft I also spent time in the NIEPA library to consult books on qualitative methodologies and recent publications on research into higher education. Additionally, I organised the Third Consultative Group Meeting for the Fair Chance to Education in Haryana Project at the India Habitat Centre on 22nd February 2019. I participated in this meeting and presented the Methodology that I have been using for my doctoral research and the preliminary findings from the field to members of the consultative group.

Third Consultative Group Meeting

Third Consultative Group Meeting

As a fellow at CPRHE I was able to interact with the faculty and post-graduate students who were working on schooling and higher education research in India. I interacted with students and academicians from NIEPA and other Indian universities during different conferences and seminars. I was also able to attend NIEPA’s National Education Day Celebration in the form of the Ninth Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Lecture on “Diversity Management under Indian Constitution” by Professor Faizan Mustafa, who is the Vice Chancellor of NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad in November 2018. I also had the opportunity to attend a two day Workshop on Leadership Development in Higher Education, organised by NIEPA in January 2019. During this even I was able to meet and interact with vice-chancellors from different universities across India. In April I returned to the University of Warwick and have started working on the data that has been collected over six months and developing my doctoral thesis."

Tue 04 Jun 2019, 16:08

Nikita Samanta's Arrival onto the Project

The project's second funded PhD Student has now arrived in the UK and settled into the project. Here is Nikita's account of her arrival:

Having lived in the UK before, arriving at Coventry wasn't much of a culture shock but it was quite a departure from London, where I'd previously spent a year. Having the project team to support and guide me through the initial few weeks of turmoil that is usual when trying to uproot and relocate was a welcome relief and provided me with much-needed comfort and reassurance. The student union organised multiple events and activities in the first week, which helped me get acquainted not only with the campus and my surroundings but also with several peers from all around the world who quickly became friends. I've managed to get involved pretty quickly with me representing my class as a PGR SSLC member, auditing 3 modules in rather diverse topics but all of which relate and will aid my research, taking up the responsibility of the project blog and joining various societies on campus besides juggling my own research. I was also able to give a short presentation at a conference in London at the SRHE within just two weeks of arriving at Warwick.

I've had a few meetings with the project team and my supervisor, Ann Stewart since my arrival and we've discussed my role in the project but also my own research within the project and the ways forward. I am excited to get started on my proposal for my upgrade and am hoping that all will be smooth sailing.

All in all, it has been a rather exciting and productive one month since I've arrived and I can only imagine how much more exciting (and busy) the next couple of months will get.

Tue 30 Oct 2018, 12:01

Anjali Thomas’ New Piece on Intersectionality in Higher Education

FCF Project PhD Student, Anjali Thomas, has published a new piece in July! The piece is an article for the University World News – also published on the project blog – on ‘Why higher education requires an intersectional lens’. The article explains intersectionality as a theoretical framework and explores how it may be useful to fight inequalities in the context of higher education, in particular regarding admission and course as well as college choice.


To read Anjali’s article, click here.

Tue 07 Aug 2018, 13:33

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