Building creative connections: An analysis of a creative arts widening participation program
Vichie, Krystle (2015) Building creative connections: An analysis of a creative arts widening participation program. In Global Access to Postsecondary Education (GAPS) Conference, 5-8 October 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Unpublished)
Widening participation or outreach agendas have been a major part of higher education policy since the early 2000s. These policies and programs seek to increase marginalised groups’ access to further study through activities, tutoring programs, workshops, and other provisions. Some programs openly state their intention to assist people from low socioeconomic backgrounds to become more civically engaged and socially mobile by improving their education, which creates an immediate link between education and social capital (see Morley 2012; Hillmert and Jacob 2010). Social capital refers to the ‘connections among individuals’ and the consequent value of the things they do together (Putnam 2000; Gauntlett 2011). Media and creative arts widening participation programs, arguably, are better equipped to build social capital than any other form of outreach, due to their relationship-building capacity (Gauntlett 2011; Kinder and Harland 2004). This article analyses Queensland University of Technology’s Creative Industries Widening Participation Program. It investigates social capital and its relationship with higher education in outreach initiatives in order to identify how media and creative arts widening participation programs have the capacity to influence the attitudes of low socioeconomic background students towards higher education.
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