PhD studentship: higher education access for first generation migrants

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School

University of Bath

Applications are invited for a three year full-time studentship to contribute to research that will further our understanding of issues surrounding higher education access.

Higher education access among immigrants

Little is known about fair access to higher education (HE) for first-generation immigrants, including any barriers they may face, particularly those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Research in this area is needed to deepen our understanding of issues surrounding higher education access. It is especially valuable in a context of increasing flows of migrants to the UK (including those seeking asylum).

This exciting PhD is positioned at the intersection of economics and education. It will explore, for the first time, determinants of higher education access among the first-generation immigrants as well as the choices made by immigrants who attend university, with the view of informing university-led outreach interventions and national frameworks.

The project

This research will uncover participation patterns of first-generation migrants from low socio-economic backgrounds, especially any inequalities in access to competitive courses (such as engineering, architecture and the sciences) and research-intensive institutions. It represents an outstanding skills development opportunity to carry out high quality econometric and qualitative research.

The objectives of this mixed-methods project are twofold:

1. Employing various econometric approaches, to establish whether the probability of entering university (and research-intensive universities / competitive courses) differs between immigrant and UK-born pupils of a similar background. Subsequently analyse factors beyond any emergent differences, with particular focus on socio-economic factors.

2. To explore qualitatively what might account for any inequalities in participation, considering what university-led interventions could help alleviate any barriers to accessing research-intensive universities / competitive courses.

This research has direct relevance to widening participation policy and practice, offering you the opportunity to maximise the impact of your research.

Support and guidance in the research methods drawn upon will be provided by expertise within the supervisory team as well as wider departments.

Supervisory team

You will conduct your research under the supervision of Dr Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (Department of Economics) and Dr Michael Donnelly (Department of Education).

You will be based in the Department of Economics and collaborate with the Department of Education.

Award funding

If successful, you will be supported for three years. Funding includes:

- £14,296 (2016/17 rate) per year stipend
- Home/EU tuition fees
- an annual Training Support Grant

Terms and conditions and details of other awards can be found on the Graduate School website.

Funding requirements

To be considered for this funding you must:

- meet the entrance requirements for an Economics PhD
- have a strong understanding of econometrics
- have experience with quantitative data analysis and associated research methods (including statistical methodologies)

Funding information

Funding applies to:
EU applicants (including UK)

Contacts and how to apply

Administrative contact and how to apply:

1. Apply to study
You must apply online for a full-time Economics PhD.

You must quote the project title (higher education access for first generation migrants) in your application.

There is no need to write a full formal research proposal (2,000-3,000 words) in your application to study as this studentship is for a specific project.

2. Provide a personal statement
As part of your application please provide a personal statement of 500-1,000 words with your initial thoughts on the research topic.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT) on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Interviews are preliminarily scheduled for 16 March 2017.

The studentship will begin either by 1 June 2017 or in October 2017. Please indicate on your application whether you are able to start by the 1st June 2017. Preference may be given to a suitable candidate able to start this academic year.

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries
Dr Joanna Clifton-Sprigg

01225 38 6089

Application enquiries

01225 38 5233

Application deadline:

28 February 2017