The BBC is reporting that universities in England are being urged to work together to ensure young people from less advantaged homes succeed in their degree studies.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) says while there is isolated work going on in individual institutions, it is “fragmented”.
As a result there is a lack of detailed evidence on which interventions achieve the best results for different groups.
However, access to university continues to improve for disadvantaged students.
Hefce analysis suggests the participation rate for these students was four percentage points higher than the results of GCSEs in 2009 would have predicted.
Also, the non-continuation rate for full-time students has improved from a rate of 14% in 2003-04 to 10% in 2013-14.
The number of disabled students going to university has increased from just over 16,700 in 2003-04 to just over 51,300 in 2012-13.
Hefce also wants to find out why some ethnic minority groups are more likely to underachieve in their degrees…
Hefce chief executive Prof Madeleine Atkins said: “Universities and colleges have already made significant progress in terms of widening access and improving retention for students whose talents and skills risk being overlooked.
“To build on this success to date, we should now focus on establishing which interventions are working most effectively to educate the graduates the country needs…
See the full report from hefce at: Delivering opportunities for students and maximising their success: Evidence for policy and practice 2015-2020
Sounds like common sense really, although the figures quoted reinforce the message recently from Professor Les Ebdon of Offa that there appear to be a number of positive trends in terms of access.
Do you have a view on which types of interventions from universities are most effective in building bridges with students from under-represented groups?
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