|Professor in the Department of Sociology||32 Old Elvet: Room 010|
|Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing|
Vikki joined the Department of Sociology at Durham in September 2011. Before coming to Durham, Vikki studied Sociology at Leicester University (BA), Cambridge University (MPhil) and Oxford University (DPhil) and was a Departmental Lecturer in Sociology at Oxford, a Nuffield Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard, a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford, and a Sociology Lecturer at Bath Spa.
At Durham Vikki co-teaches the second year undergraduate module, Sociology of Education, and the masters level module, Education an Social Inequality. Vikki is Programme Director for the MA in Social Research Methods and co-convenor of the university-wide First Generation Scholars Network.
Vikki’s research focuses on social inequalities of access to the most prestigious universities. She is a leading expert on the use of contextual data on the socioeconomic circumstances of prospective university students to inform more equitable admissions decisions. You can read about this work here and here.
Vikki welcomes enquiries about supervision from students who want to write an undergraduate, masters or doctoral dissertation on something to do with education and its relationship to social stratification and inequality.
Member of the Higher Education and Social Inequality (HESI) research group
Member of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE)
Member of the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE)
- Educational inequalities, especially social class and ethnic inequalities of access to higher status universities
- Social stratification and mobility, in particular patterns and processes of social mobility across multiple generations of family members
- Quantitative research methods
- Applied and policy-relevant research
- Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE)
- Higher Education and Social Inequalities
- Evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions
- Mapping and Evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions in Scotland
- Mapping and evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions in Scotland
- The impact of a market in tuition fees on fair access to more prestigious universities and subjects
- 2017: Evaluating the fairness of admissions to UK higher education(£43447.20 from )
- 2017: Fair admission to universities in England: Understanding and improving policy and practice(£169245.00 from Nuffield Foundation)
- 2017: The ESRC/HEFCE Centre for Global Higher Education(£45722.02 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
- 2016: Evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions(£120581.90 from ESRC)
Available for media contact about:
- General policy: Access to higher education; social class and ethnic inequalities in education; social mobility; quantitative research methods
- Sociology: Access to higher education; social class and ethnic inequalities in education; social mobility; quantitative research methods
- Boliver, V. (2017). Review of Natasha K. Warikoo (2016) The Diversity Bargain: And other dilemmas of race, admissions, and meritocracy at elite universities. Sociology 52(4): 862-864.
Chapter in book
- Boliver, V. & Gorard, S. (2020). The use of evidence from research on contextualised admissions to widen access to Scottish universities. In Getting Evidence into Education: Evaluating the Routes to Policy and Practice. Gorard, S. London: Routledge. 166-177.
- Boliver, V. (2018). Ethnic Inequalities in Admission to Highly Selective Universities. In Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy. Arday, J. & Safia-Mirza, H. Cham Palgrave MacMillan. 67-85.
- Dilnot, C. & Boliver, V. (2018). Admission to medicine and law at Russell Group universities: the impact of A-level subject choice. In Evaluating Equity and Widening Participation in Higher Education. Burke, P.J., Hayton, A. & Stevenson, J. London: Trentham Books (UCL IOE Press). 59-87.
- Boliver, V. & Sullivan, A. (2018). Getting up and staying up: understanding social mobility over three generations in Britain. In Social Mobility for the 21st Century: Everyone a Winner?. Lawler, S. & Payne, G. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 54-66.
- Boliver, V. (2018). How meritocratic is admission to highly selective UK universities? In Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University Admissions, Experiences, and Outcomes. Waller, R., Ingram, N. & Ward, R.M. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 37-53.
- Gorard,S., Boliver,V. & Siddiqui,N. (2018). How can contextualised admissions widen participation? In Achieving Equity and Quality in Higher Education. Shah, M. & McKay, J. London: Palgrave MacMillan. 307-326.
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S. & Siddiqui, N. (2017). How can we widen participation in higher education? The promise of contextualised admissions. In The University as a Critical Institution?. Deem, R. & Eggins, H. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. 95-110.
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S. & Siddiqui, N. (2017). A more radical approach to contextualised admissions. In Where Next for Widening Participation and Fair Access? New Insights from Leading Thinkers. In Where next for widening participation and fair access?. Oxford: HEPI/Brightside. 23-28.
- Boliver, V. & Wakeling, P. (2017). Social mobility and higher education. In Encyclopaedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions. Shin, J.C. & Teixeira, P.N. Dordrecht: Springer. 1-6.
- Waters, M., Heath, A., Tran, V.C & Boliver, V. (2013). Second generation attainment and inequality: primary and secondary effects on educational outcomes in Britain and the US. In The Children of Immigrants at School: A Comparative Look at Integration in the United States and Western Europe. Alba, R. & Holdaway, J. New York University Press.
- Boliver, Vikki & Powell, Mandy (2022). Competing conceptions of fair admission and their implications for supporting students to fulfil their potential at university. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 1.
- Boliver, Vikki, Gorard, Stephen & Siddiqui, Nadia (2022). Who counts as socioeconomically disadvantaged for the purposes of widening access to higher education? British Journal of Sociology of Education 43(3): 349-374.
- Boliver, Vikki & Capsada-Munsech, Queralt (2021). Does ability grouping affect UK primary school pupils’ enjoyment of Maths and English? Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 76: 100629.
- Birkelund, J., Capsada-Munsech, Q., Boliver, V. & Karlson, K.B. (2021). Lives on track? Long-term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark. British Journal of Sociology 72(3): 672-692.
- Capsada-Munsech, Queralt & Boliver, Vikki (2021). The early labour-market returns to upper secondary qualifications track in England. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S. & Siddiqui, N. (2021). Using contextual data to widen access to higher education. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 25(1): 7-13.
- Hunt, Stephen A. & Boliver, Vikki (2021). Private providers and market exit in UK higher education. Higher Education 81: 385-401.
- Boliver, V, Gorard, S, Powell, M & Moreira, T (2020). The use of access thresholds to widen participation at Scottish universities. Scottish Affairs 29(1): 82-97.
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S. & Siddiqui, N. (2019). Using contextualised admissions to widen access to higher education: a guide to the evidence base. DECE Research Briefing (1).
- Siddiqui, N., Boliver, V. & Gorard, S. (2019). Reliability of Longitudinal Social Surveys of Access to Higher Education: The Case of Next Steps in England. Social Inclusion 7(1): 80-89.
- Mateos-González, J.L. & Boliver, V. (2019). Performance-based university funding and the drive towards ‘institutional meritocracy’ in Italy. British Journal of Sociology of Education 40(2): 145-158.
- Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., See, B.H., Boliver, V. & Wardle, L. (2019). Let’s make education fairer. Research Intelligence Autumn 2019(140): 12-13.
- Gorard, S., Boliver, V., Siddiqui, N. & Banerjee, P. (2019). Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE? Research Papers in Education 34(1): 99-129.
- Boliver, V., Powell, M. & Moreira, T. (2018). Organisational Identity as a Barrier to Widening Access in Scottish Universities. Social Sciences 7(9): 151.
- Lessard-Phillips, L., Boliver, V., Pampaka, M. & Swain, D. (2018). Exploring ethnic differences in the post-university destinations of Russell Group graduates. Ethnicities 18(4): 496-517.
- Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N. & Boliver, V. (2017). An Analysis of School-Based Contextual Indicators for Possible Use in Widening Participation. Higher Education Studies 7(2): 79.
- Boliver, V. (2017). Misplaced optimism: how higher education reproduces rather than reduces social inequality. British Journal of Sociology of Education 38(3): 423-432.
- Boliver, V. (2016). Critically evaluating the Effectively Maintained Inequality hypothesis. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science 15(2): 1-9.
- Boliver, V. (2016). Exploring ethnic inequalities in admission to Russell Group universities. Sociology 50(2): 247-266.
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S. & Siddiqui, N. (2015). Will the Use of Contextual Indicators Make UK Higher Education Admissions Fairer? Education Sciences 5(4): 306-322.
- Boliver, V. (2015). Are there distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK? Oxford Review of Education 41(5): 608-627.
- Boliver, V. (2015). Why are British Ethnic Minorities Less Likely to be Offered Places at Highly Selective Universities? in Alexander, C. and Arday, J. (eds) Aiming Higher: Race, Inequality and Diversity in the Academy. Runnymede Perspectives 15-18.
- Boliver, V. (2015). Lies, damned lies, and statistics on widening access to Russell Group universities. Radical Statistics 113: 29-38.
- Chan, T. W. & Boliver, V. (2014). Social Mobility Over Three Generations in Finland: A Critique. European Sociological Review 30(1): 13-17.
- Boliver, V. & Byrne, D. (2013). Social mobility: the politics, the reality, the alternative. Soundings: A journal of politics and culture Winter 2013(55).
- Boliver, V. (2013). How fair is access to more prestigious UK Universities? British Journal of Sociology 64(2): 344-364.
- Heath, A., Sullivan, A., Boliver, V. & Zimdars, A. (2013). Education Under New Labour, 1997-2010. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 29(1): 227-247.
- Chan, Tak Wing & Boliver, Vikki (2013). The grandparents effect in social mobility: evidence from British birth cohort studies. American Sociological Review 78(4): 662-678.
- Boliver, V. & Swift, A. (2012). Schools and social mobility. Sociology Review 22(2).
- Boliver, V. & Swift, A. (2011). Comprehensive schools and social mobility. Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy 19(2): 32-36.
- Boliver, V. & Swift, A. (2011). Do comprehensive schools reduce social mobility? The British Journal of Sociology 62(1): 89-110.
- Boliver, V. (2010). Expansion, differentiation, and the persistence of social class inequalities in British higher education. Higher Education 61(3): 229-242.
- Boliver, V. (2014). Why do elite universities admit so few ethnic minority applicants? The Guardian (Tuesday 8 July 2014).
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Gorard, S., Boliver, V. & Siddiqui, N. (2019). Fair access means admitting more applicants with lower grades. Blog.
- Boliver, V & Gorard, S (2015). Should students from state schools be given priority access to university? The Conversation
- Boliver, V. (2015). Fewer top university offers go to black and Asian students, but UCAS research doesn’t explain why. The Conversation
- Boliver, V. (2015). Are top universities biased against ethnic minority students? Integration Hub Blog
- Boliver, V. & David, M. (2015). Funneling funds to elite universities won’t guarantee world ranking success. The Conversation
- Boliver, V (2015). University admissions data must be made available to academic researchers. Economics of Higher Education (26 February 2015)
- Boliver, V. (2015). Universities must aim higher on ethnic equality and diversity. The Conversation
- Boliver, V. (2015). Universities must act collectively to remedy lower offer rates for ethnic minority applicants. Society for Research into Higher Education blog post
- Boliver, V. (2014). Hard Evidence: why aren’t there more black British students at elite universities? The Conversation
- Parel, K. & Boliver, V. (2014). Ethnicity trumps school background as a predictor of admission to elite UK universities. Economics of Higher Education (9 May 2014).
- Boliver, V. (2013). Access to Britain’s top universities is far from fair. University World News (Issue No. 268).
- Boliver, V., Crawford, C., Powell, M. & Craige, W. (2017). Admissions in Context: The use of contextual information by leading universities. London, Sutton Trust.
- Boliver, V., Gorard, S., Powell, M. & Moreira, T. (2017). Mapping and evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions in Scotland. Scottish Funding Council.
- Hunt, S. & Boliver, V. (2019). Private providers of higher education in the UK: mapping the terrain. 47.
- Gorard, S., Boliver, V., Siddiqui, N., Banerjee, P. & Morris, R. (2017). Which are the most suitable contextual indicators for use in widening participation to HE? Education working paper series
- Chan, T. & Boliver, V. (2011). Social mobility over three generations in Britain. Sociology Department Working Paper, Oxford University 2011-04.
- Boliver, V. (2010). Maximally maintained inequality and effectively maintained inequality in education: operationalizing the expansion-inequality relationship. 2010-05.
- Boliver, V. (2006). Social inequalities of access to higher status universities in the UK: the role of university admissions decisions. Sociology Department Working Paper, Oxford University 2006-07.
- Boliver, V. (2004). Widening participation and fair access at the University of Oxford. Sociology Department Working Paper, Oxford University 2004-02.