A reader of this COVID-19 series of posts asked me about its implications for low socio-economic status (SES) students in higher education.
I doubt the COVID-19 recession will reduce demand for post-school education from potential low SES students. The same economic logic applies for everyone who might consider further study: education is more attractive than unemployment. Local vocational education policies and opportunities may affect the regional higher education-vocational education divide, but interest in study should increase.
While low SES demand should hold or increase, I nevertheless think that low SES enrolments will probably decline without policy change. Increased total demand for university places in 2021 will intensify academic competition for entry if funding caps remain. And that, in turn, will disadvantage low SES applicants.