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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the intersecting inequalities and differences in HE that persist despite decades of HE policy focused on equity and widening participation. Attention is given to the ways that patriarchy, neo-liberalism, corporatization, and managerialism work together to generate new forms of inequality and power relations, which include inequalities in access and participation, women in leadership positions, sexual assault or harassment on campus, care-less university cultures, and complex temporal inequalities. The chapter examines the emergence of widening participation and equity policies in many countries of both the global North and the global South whilst the forces of globalization, neo-liberalism, and marketization have repositioned students as consumers of the market of higher education. It shows how these forces have produced an individualizing focus on student and staff experience, concealing the contextual, temporal, and structural inequalities that profoundly undermine policy concerns to widen access and participation. Individualism and marketization impact student and staff experiences in relation to the different social location and the gendering of education, work, and family, which privileges the productive (with a focus on paid labour and employability) over the reproductive (with a focus on unpaid labour and caring) dimensions of social life. The chapter shows the power of feminist analyses of questions of equity and widening participation to bring to light the insidious ways that inequalities are reproduced through the neo-liberal, patriarchal university.

Keywords: access, equity, widening participation, gender, neo-liberalism, intersecting inequalities, power, feminist analyses

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