About OFFAOur role:To promote and safeguardfair access to higher educationfor lower income and otherunder-represented groupsfollowing the introduction ofhigher tuition fees
OFFA policy advisers – regional focusNorth and West Midlands Fiona Clark and Ben SprattEast Midlands and South Richard Shiner and Patrick WinchLondon and East Jessica Woodsford and Rachel Wright Contact details at www.offa.org.uk
OFFA’s annual cycle Spring Receive access agreements Winter Spring Receive and assess Publish monitoring monitoring returns outcomes Continuous dialogue with universities and colleges Winter Early summer Publish access Access agreementagreement guidance discussions Autumn Summer Publish monitoring Approve access guidance agreements
Changes in the 2014-15 guidance• Increased focus on evidence and evaluation• Demonstrating a strategic approach• Greater challenge around outcomes• Growth in outreach• Stronger collaboration• Equality and diversity• Student voice• Changes to NSP
Increased focus on evidence and evaluation• As a sector, we need to identify what impact access agreement expenditure is having• Ensure that all activities are monitored and evaluated• Demonstrate that access plans are based on evidence• Use evidence collected from past activities to inform and improve access plans.
Evaluation into strategy What has Institution’s What has worked for own targetsSharing measureof good worked for institution successpractice others Own Institution’s specific own review of access where it needs to improve aims Successful access strategy
Greater challenge, greater support •Greater support –Dissemination of good practice –Research and Analysis •Greater Challenge –Demonstrating progress and impact –Interested in the collective benefit of widening access across the sector
Guidelines on access spend as a percentage of higher fee income Guideline proportion to spend on access measures Higher fee income 30% 22.50% 15% 10% Low Average High Postgraduate ITT Proportion of student body from under-represented groups Any proportion* *By definition, postgraduate initial teacher training trainees already have experience of higher education, and many will be entitled to training bursaries, so OFFA and the Teaching Agency have agreed a lower level of spend for this provision.
Student success• Retention: staying and completing the course• Attainment: reaching full potential• Employability: preparing for work
Stronger collaboration• Grow and strengthen collaboration where possible• Collaborative evaluation and targets• Take collaborative efforts into account when monitoring
Equalities and diversityEqualities Act 2010 ‘protectedcharacteristics’:• age• disability• gender reassignment• marriage and civil partnership• pregnancy and maternity• race• religion or belief• sex• sexual orientation.
The next step for equality in access agreementsOur hopes for 2014-15 access agreements:• A more embedded approach• A separate legal declaration• More specific guidance on what we want to see• Better support on setting equality targets
Joined up strategiesEquality and Access diversity agreement objectives targets
Student voice• We strongly encourage institutions to: consult students in the design, implementation and monitoring of agreements … to involve students at an early stage when drawing up plans for outreach, retention and financial support• Evidence of student consultation• Innovative/new examples• What other areas could students influence?
National strategy for access and student successOFFA’s role, working with HEFCE, will be to: “develop a shared strategy for promoting access and maximising the impact of the investment made by the Government, the Council and institutions” Letter to OFFA and HEFCE from Vince Cable, Secretary of State forBusiness, Innovation and Skills, and David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, May 2012