Implementing the National Strategy - Professor Les Ebdon


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Implementing the National Strategy
Professor Les Ebdon, Director, Office for Fair Access (OFFA)

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Implementing the National Strategy - Professor Les Ebdon

  1. 1. Professor Les Ebdon CBE Director of Fair Access to Higher Education
  2. 2. National strategy for access and student success OFFA and HEFCE were asked 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 for Business, Innovation and Skills, and David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, May 2012
  3. 3. National strategy: organising themes • Maximising impact of investment • Growing evidence base • Integrating OFFA and HEFCE systems
  4. 4. National strategy – new research The strategy draws on existing knowledge, research and evidence, plus the following specially-commissioned work: Publication date The uses and impact of HEFCE funding for widening participation March 2013 Literature review of research into widening participation to higher education August 2013 Roundtable discussions with stakeholders September 2013 International evidence of what works to widen participation in other countries October 2013 Formative evaluation of the National Scholarship Programme November 2013 Effect of institutional bursaries on retention before the introduction of higher fees Forthcoming The uses and impact of access agreements and associated spend on widening participation activity Forthcoming Trends in young participation by selectivity of institution Forthcoming
  5. 5. The national strategy will… • Further shrink the access gap between most and least disadvantaged • Improve targeting and effectiveness of funding and activity – maximise the impact of investment – reduce funding overlaps – identify gaps for action • Address participation through the student lifecycle • Reflect diversity of students and higher education providers
  6. 6. The ‘student lifecycle’ approach “Widening participation in the English context has recognised that widening access to HE alone is not sufficient to achieve broader goals of social justice, social mobility and economic prosperity; support for students to be successful in HE and beyond is also required.” CFE/Edge Hill University, International research on the effectiveness of widening participation (2013)
  7. 7. Student success • Retention: staying and completing the course • Attainment: reaching full potential • Employability: preparing for work
  8. 8. Diverse students = diverse issues
  9. 9. Outreach • Raises aspirations – higher education is for ‘people like me’ • Includes accurate info on finance and subject choices • Starts early – before key decisions are made • Keeps going ©University of Nottingham ©Newcastle University ©University of Leeds
  10. 10. Next steps • BIS publish strategy • Joint processes… single document: the SASS • Implementation • Review and renew strategy as evidence continues to grow
  11. 11. Strategy for access and student success (SASS) • Guidance published in early 2014 • Initially covering: – OFFA requirements for 2015-16 – HEFCE requirements for 2014-2019 • Flexible
  12. 12. Strategy for access and student success (SASS) • Through their SASSs, we expect institutions to: – consider the whole ‘student lifecycle’ – show an evidence based approach – contribute to national priorities