Access: Critical explorations of equity in higher education

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Current Issue

Volume 10 Issue 1

Journal cover image: Caelli Jo Brooker, Underpainting (detail) 2022

Cover image: Caelli Jo Brooker,  Underpainting  (detail), 2022, oil and acrylic on canvas with digital manipulation

Current Issue

Future Issues

November 2022 - Space, Time and Precarity in Higher Education: Exploring Configurations of Power and Inequality in Precarious Times - Guest edited by Dr Barbara Read, University of Glasgow.

More Information

Struggles for access to and participation in higher education have a long history and continue to present challenges across a range of contexts. Access invites critical debates at the intersection of higher education and inequalities of international interest and significance.

Part of the journal’s project is to engage an increasing diversity of voices, perspectives, theories and methodologies, critique the practices of research, writing and publication, and disrupt dominant forms of representation of and in the field. We draw on and continue a commitment to the foundations of the work featured in International Studies in Widening Participation which has been historically focussed on the rich Australian context that has a long history of enabling and widening participation pathways. Access extends and deepens these debates, with an increased focus on contributions about international strategies and research and radical ways to approach, interrogate and challenge injustices given worsening inequality globally.

Access applies broad understandings of equity issues, which includes how class, dis/ability, gender, geography, faith, nation, race and sexuality intersect. The journal is committed to extending the scope of exploration around questions of access, equity and widening participation including but also beyond admissions and entry. The changing shape of higher education foregrounds concerns with its fundamental purpose as a public institution and raises significant questions about access to what forms of higher education and for whom.

The journal welcomes contributions that develop sustained critique and extend the terms of debate by, for example:

  • interrogating the roots and logics of access and participation
  • problematising different forms of representation and categorisation of privilege, marginalisation and disadvantage
  • exploring lived experiences of inequalities as situated in wider contexts
  • examining policy and practice through critical theoretical and/or conceptual perspectives
  • foregrounding a politics of knowledge in relation to questions of access and participation
  • studying the relationship between higher education and inequalities
  • considering the forms of identity and recognition that shape struggles over access in, through and post higher education
  • bringing in to view debates about the purposes and value of higher education in relation to access and inequalities
  • analysing the effects of different theoretical and/or methodological frameworks on research, evaluation and practice.

The journal welcomes contributions taking up creative, critical and emerging approaches and methods.

Executive Editorial Team

  • Professor Penny Jane Burke, Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Professor Marie-Pierre Moreau, Cluster for Education Research on Identities and Inequalities, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
  • Dr Samson Maekele Tsegay, Cluster for Education Research on Identities and Inequalities, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Dr Matthew Bunn, Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Dr Matt Lumb, Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Editorial Board

Reference Style


Text and SpacingTIMES NEW ROMAN 12pt font (with the exception of headings as per below). Single spaced. Articles will be formatted into the template
Article TypeSubmissions should indicate the type of article (Research Paper, Case Study, Policy Review, Viewpoint or Student Voice). This heading should be in bold CAPITALS, TIMES NEW ROMAN 14pt and centred.
Word LimitsWord limits are guides only. Research Papers, Case Studies and Policy Reviews should be between 4000 and 6000 words (excluding references, tables and figures). Viewpoint articles should be approximately 3500 words (excluding references, tables and figures). Student Voice papers should be between 1500 and 2500 words (excluding references).
AbstractAbstracts should be no more than 200 words.
KeywordsAuthors should include 5 to 6 keywords with their manuscript.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The title of this journal changed in 2021 from International Studies in Widening Participation to Access: Critical explorations of equity in higher education.

Access is published by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, with the support of the Pathways and Academic Learning Support Centre at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and the Cluster for Education Research on Identities and Inequalities at Anglia Ruskin University

This journal is published on the lands of the Pambalong Clan of the Awabakal People.

ISSN 2653-245X

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.