Communities and higher education college students in Haryana, a state in the north of India, will benefit from the university’s project. It aims to break through “significant social and gender barriers” preventing those in rural communities from progressing through education.
“Given the potential for higher education to break the cycle of transmission of socio-economic disadvantage from one generation to the next, widening higher education access for young people from disadvantaged socio-economic groups should be seen as a way of reducing inequalities in the wider society,” said Nidhi Sbharwal of the Centre Policy Research in Higher Education – leader of the project’s work within India.
With a £500,000 boost from the Fair Chance Foundation, the new four year project hopes to build on the research done in the first initial project where it was found that “young people in rural areas have little to no contact” with higher education institutions – especially before making choices on the subject.
The first project was officially named ‘A Fair Chance for Education: Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana’.
Research partners found that those who are able to take the option of higher education end up having to make choices “without reliable information”, meaning their decision-making is then based on “hearsay”.
“From the first Fair Chance Foundation project, we have the evidence to support the importance of our work”
The new ‘Widening Access to Higher Education in India: Institutional Approaches’ project will aim to develop capacity of state higher education institutions in India, especially in rural communities, so they can transform themselves into “college knowledge hubs”.
“The project’s impact and its potential to help millions of women and disadvantaged young people has far exceeded our expectations when we started the project five years ago,” said Fair Chance Foundation founder Sumir Karayi.
“This project is delivering fundamental research to enable policy makers to provide a fairer chance for women in India and beyond,” Karayi continued.
“From the first Fair Chance Foundation project, we have the evidence to support the importance of our work with higher education institutions in rural and semi-urban India – with this second funded project, we will be able to facilitate young people making more informed choices about their futures,” said Emily Henderson, from the Department of Education Studies at Warwick.
The project will begin in April this year.