While Universities have made considerable progress in widening participation in higher education in the last decade, the latest figures released by .. Read more the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) indicate that progress has stalled. Additionally, the proportion of students from areas with low historical participation in higher education remains low, at 11.4%. These statistics signal that more must be done by universities, schools and central Government to engage students from disadvantaged backgrounds and develop robust and effective widening participation strategies. The Government and the Office for Students have taken significant steps to enact change, with access and participation plans required from all higher education institutions from the 2019 – 2020 academic year. Meanwhile, the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework takes widening participation and access as a key element, signalling to universities that access must be central to their recruitment strategies. At Widening Participation 2020: Ensuring Access and Opportunity For All attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the latest updates on widening participation policy and practice, featuring updates from key bodies and innovative case studies covering key topics such as engaging first generation scholars, effective engagement with schools, and improving the employability outcomes for widening participation students. “This was a quick and interesting way to get an update on what is currently happening around widening participation in higher education” – delegate, University of Birmingham.
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