ESA Midterm Conference Sociology of Education

Aktivität: Wissenschaftliche und künstlerische VeranstaltungenKonferenzenForschung

Romina Müller - Sprecher*in

Katharina Köhler - Präsentator*in

Warming up to Open Universities? A comparison of attitudes among academic staff towards widened participation of non-traditional students in European universities.

The demand for education and qualification rises in today’s knowledge-based society. Higher education must be made accessible to those groups of students who have traditionally participated less. This point of view dominates the current literature, but less attention has been paid to other groups of people involved in the transformation process of Higher Education Institutions (HEI): the academic staff.
Within the European research project OPULL, – Opening Universities for Lifelong Learning – which aims to increase success factors of how HEI can successfully open up to non-traditional students, qualitative interviews with academic staff in British, German, Danish and Finnish universities were conducted. Themes of these semi-structured interviews were potential improvement measures of study for improved conditions and characteristics of non-traditional students, possibilities for recognition of prior learning, and the attitudes of the interviewees towards the ongoing recognition processes and lifelong learning.
The aim of this paper is threefold. Firstly, the current status of the openness of the universities under research is presented. The countries differ in their expansion of lifelong learning with the Open University (GB) being a European leader in this area; the Universities of Helsinki (FI) and Southern Denmark (DK) have a much longer history as Open Universities than the Leuphana University in Lüneburg (DE), which is slowly expanding within this area. Secondly this paper aims to investigate existing dominant views. Data analysis is still in progress, but the first analyses reveal interesting differences and similarities despite the very different profiles. For the OU a relatively exclusive habitus is observable which is rather surprising regarding the state of the art in Great Britain, while the University of Southern Denmark is characterized by a more inclusive habitus. Lastly, a connection between the status quo and the interview results is drawn to answer the research question whether the academic staff is warming up to Open Universities.
ESA Midterm Conference Sociology of Education


ESA Midterm Conference Sociology of Education: Diversity in Education: Issues of Equity and Social Cohesion


Ghent, Belgien

Veranstaltung: Konferenz