Analytic Quality Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes




core definition

Access is the process of enabling entry to higher education.


Access has two linked but distinct meanings.

1.   the general concept that relates to making higher education accessible.

2.   a shorthand for programmes that provide preparation for entry to higher education, such as the UK Access to HE courses.

explanatory context

Access is usually associated with widening access, that is, facilitating the entry of a wider range of people into higher education than are traditionally included.


It may also be linked to deepening access, that is, ensuring that significant proportions of students from non-traditional areas (such as working class or some ethnic minorities) enter higher education.

analytical review

In the Canadian context, the term accessibility apparently has the same meaning as access. Doherty-Delorme and Shaker (2001, p. 7), for example:

defined accessibility (including affordability and opportunity) as the freedom to obtain and make use of a post-secondary education.

The Scottish Funding Council (2012) defines access as:

The policy of ensuring that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and deprived areas access new learning opportunities.

Clarke (2008), commenting on the Australian situation, defines access as:

policies and procedures put in place by universities, or programs within those institutions, that directly impact on the entry of traditionally under-represented student groups

associated issues

In the UK, there is a validation process for Access to Higher Education programmes (see access courses).


The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is responsible for the national framework for the validation of Access to HE programmes, which was originally set up in 1989. This means that all Access to HE programmes are eligible for formal validation and that learners successfully completing programmes that gain approval will gain a qualification for entry into HE that has national recognition (LOCN, 2004)

related areas

See also

access courses


Clarke, M., 2008, University Rankings and their Impact on Students, available at, accessed, 5 August, 2008.

Doherty-Delorme, D. and Shaker, E., 2001, Missing Pieces II An Alternative Guide To Canadian Post-Secondary Education. 2000/2001 Provincial Rankings: Where Do the Provinces Stand on Education? January, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, not available 29 January 2012.

London Open College Network (LOCN), Access validation,, accessed Oct 2004. No longer at this address, 3 Februry 2011. See

Scottish Funding Council, 2012, Glossary, available at, accessed 10 September 2012, still available 30 December 2016, not found 19 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

A NOVEL Who bombed a Birmingham mosque?


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home