This study aims, via using the method of document analysis and literature reviews, to explore the equity of access to higher education after its expansion in the United Kingdom.
The main conclusions of this study can be summarized as follow：
Ι. As to the development of higher education in the United Kingdom.
1.Higher education in the United Kingdom has changed from the traditional ‘elite’ type towards the ‘universal’ type, and opportunities of studying in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been expanded for all.
2.The equity of access to higher education has been an important issue in the UK, and the policy of rising the universities tuition fees has always been taking the policies of financial assistance of the disadvantaged students into consideration.
3. Based on the academic autonomy of the universities, the selection or recruitment of students has been the right of the universities, but the students’ application for admission has been processed by the UCAS.
4. The United Kingdom has, in accordance with the policy of the European union, constructed its national qualification frameworks throughout the countries, though differences remain between different countries in the U.K., due to the different educational systems among different countries.
5. Based on the national qualification framework, the qualifications for applying to universities include academic qualification, such as GCE A level, etc, and various vocational qualifications.
ΙΙ. As to the equity of access to higher education in the United Kingdom, it is found that inequities or inequalities still exist in terms of the students’ family social backgrounds(SES), the types of high schools they studied, such as selective schools (e. g., grammar, or independent schools) or non-selective (comprehensive schools), and sex.