Supporting Widening Participation Students Without Creating Dependency or Leaving Them Unprepared for Work in the Neoliberal Era
Cover of GJSD Vol. 4 Issue 1.


widening participation
lifewide learning


How to Cite

Fellows, I. (2024). Supporting Widening Participation Students Without Creating Dependency or Leaving Them Unprepared for Work in the Neoliberal Era: A Discussion Paper. GILE Journal of Skills Development, 4(1), 95–103.


In a rapidly changing employment context, research holds that the desirable attributes of grit, resilience and context adaptation will become fundamental to the ongoing employability of current students.  The employment landscape has become atomised and volatile under neoliberalism, exemplified by the broken psychological contract between employer and employee.  Graduates from widening participation backgrounds entering the labour market will see their existing barriers to career success exacerbated by these changes in the world of work.  For students from widening participation backgrounds, the neoliberal policies that underpin these changes are congruent with other policies that exacerbate their socioeconomic and educational disadvantages.  Consequently, universities must play an increasingly important role in supporting students within and outside of the taught curriculum. This paper explores ways universities can continue to provide students with the necessary support without building dependencies or expectations of support that would inhibit the development of grit, resilience, and context adaptation.  As a starting point for further discussion, this paper proposes guiding principles for universities to inform institutional Teaching and Learning strategies.


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Copyright (c) 2024 Ian Fellows


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