Published in 2004, this book discusses whether the rhetoric of the market in higher education is matched by the realities of choice. In the first comprehensive study of higher education markets and sixth form choice, Lesley Pugsley argues that the annual burst of media-fuelled panic about university entrance leads to a misinformed rhetoric about the purpose and value of higher education. This is a benchmark study based on the 1997 cohort of students, who were last to enter higher education under the ‘Robbins 1963’ banner of free education. Tracking a group of students throughout their sixth form careers, Pugsley provides a balanced account of the tensions experiences by the students, their parents and their teachers in an increasingly market-orientated higher education society. This book was originally published as part of the Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research series edited by Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont and Amanda Coffey. The series publishes original sociological research that reflects the tradition of qualitative and ethnographic inquiry developed at Cardiff. The series includes monographs reporting on empirical research, edited collections focussing on particular themes, and texts discussing methodological developments and issues.
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