Raising and Sustaining Aspiration in City Schools


Prof. Anne Edwards, Patrick Alexander, Dr Nigel Fancourt, Prof. Ian Menter (Department of Education, Oxford University)


The project explored how Year 9 students at four Oxford city secondary schools thought about university. A major focus was how Higher Education featured in their projected learning trajectories and expectations for their futures, at the point when they were selecting school subjects for further study.

The findings were organised according to the sources of understanding from which students derive ideas about university and create images of their future selves – from their school experiences; from family influences; and from wider cultural representations.

This report examines how young people in Year 9 anticipate and plan for their futures and reveals a high degree of mystification about routes to higher education.

Download project report

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