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Dr Neil Harrison 2

Deputy Director of the REES Centre for Fostering  at the University of Oxford, Dr Neil Harrison

Centre hosts first seminar on ‘students as insurers’

Young people have more ‘positivity about student debt as there is no point worrying’ and are more risk tolerant than previous generations was a key message from the first seminar held by the Centre for Social Mobility on October 17th.

The newly appointed Deputy Director of the REES Centre for Fostering and Senior Researcher in Education and Children’s Social Care at the University of Oxford, Dr Neil Harrison, gave a presentation on ‘students as insurers: rethinking ‘risk’ for disadvantaged young people considering higher education’ which has been recently published in the Journal for Youth Studies.

Dr Harrison concludes that social risk of going into Higher Education has decreased due to growth and diversification in HE for those from low income backgrounds and the financial risk of not going into HE has increased more than the fear of student debt.

"Young people are taking a punt in the dark when they make choices. Certainty has declined. There are higher stakes for young people than ever before. The global crisis affected young people more resulting in the gig economy with average wages falling and a more risky labour market,” said Dr  Harrison.

Centre co-director (Academic) Dr Anna Mountford-Zimdars and Associate Professor in Higher Education said: "We were privileged to have the polymath interdisciplinarian Neil Harrison open our seminar series. Neil himself embodies the values of the Centre for Social Mobility: He has been a widening participation practitioner and is now a leading researcher in the field linking theory and practice.  He draws on qualitative and quantitative methods as well as knowledge created in economics, sociology, philosophy and psychology to shine a light on the complexities of widening participation to and within higher education. What a thought-provoking opening - thank you."

To find out more see the 'Students as insurers' slides.


Date: 19 October 2018