Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Who gets the higher education grant?

The Irish Independent has an interesting piece on the socio-economic background of higher education grant recipients. In particular it documents how a significant number from professional & employer backgrounds receive the grants, more in fact than from semi- & unskilled backgrounds.

1 comment:

Martin Ryan said...

"A total of 57,261 full-time students held grants in 2008/09, this jumped to almost 70,000 last year, and has increased further this year. This means that one in two students is on a grant."

Interesting data indeed, but it would be nice to know how many students are entitled to the full amount of the maintenance grant too.

In relation to measurement, obviously the grant holding information is administrative data. However, students' social background must be self-reported, likely in questionanires presented to students as they register in their first year of higher education?

If this is the case, then it would be important to know if:

(i) students reported their parents' specific occupation (which was subsequently classified into social categories by the Dept.), or
(ii) did students report their parents' occupation in broad social categories?

If the latter occurred, then the data could be prone to considerable measurement error, especially due to the potential for social desirability bias in students' answers.