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You are reading: Career guidance, school experiences and the university participation of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds

Wojtek Tomaszewski, Francisco Perales and Ning Xiang

Published in the International Journal of Educational Research

Published online 10 July 2017


University participation is a strong predictor of labour market success, personal health and wellbeing, and positive social outcomes. We leverage contemporary longitudinal data from a representative Australian sample of students and event-history regression models to examine the associations between socio-economic background and students’ chances to enrol into University. We find evidence that low socio-economic background reduces the chances of University participation, whereas receipt of career guidance and positive school experiences increase these chances. Importantly, school factors more strongly predict subsequent University participation amongst young people from low socio-economic backgrounds. These findings suggest that policy initiatives aimed at improving school factors will result in expanded University enrolments, and smaller enrolment gaps between young people from advantaged and disadvantaged social strata.

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Tomaszewski, Wojtek, Francisco Perales, and Ning Xiang. 2017. “Career guidance, school experiences and the university participation of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.” International Journal of Educational Research. 85: 11-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.06.003