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Supporting Gender Sensitive Higher Education Access and Choice in India

Supporting Gender Sensitive Higher Education Access and Choice in Haryana, India

Funded by the Fair Chance Foundation (2017-2021), and an Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Award (2020 –2022), the team from Warwick, with partners in National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), TISS Mumbai and Ambedkar University Delhi, have identified significant social and gender barriers that prevent young people in rural and semi-urban areas in the northern Indian state of Haryana from entering higher education (HE).

In particular, this includes from making informed choices about HE courses and institutions.

The challenge

There is a new generation of young people entering HE. Many of these young people come from families and communities where there is little or no experience of HE in previous generations.

Choices about HE are being made by young people and their families without access to sufficient or accurate information. This leads to unequal choices, such as lower quality institutions being selected for young women.

While gender parity of undergraduate enrolment has been achieved, gender inequalities persist, for example in relation to choice of institution and courses.

Gender influences the expectations and experiences of all young people, when decisions are made about accessing HE in Haryana and in India more widely.

Our approach

The project adopted...

  • An evolutionary research design, building upon the results of each phase to develop the next phase, including two doctoral studies

  • A collaborative approach through working with, and learning from, the India-based project partners and scholars within the project’s Consultative Group and Research Advisory Group

  • A change model which sought to devise a programme of action that could contribute to positive social change.

Our impact

The research team has helped to develop the HE outreach culture in Haryana by co-designing an Outreach Activity Resource (a toolkit) for organising a College ‘taster day’ for potential HE applicants. Over 1000 students have attended a taster day organised by three HE colleges in Haryana using the Resource.

The team has produced a Policy Brief, which makes suggestions on HE outreach implementation within the Indian National Education Policy 2020. These have been endorsed by local and national education policy makers.

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