As individual students bear an increased burden for the cost of their tuition, the focus on student retention and progression has increased. In addition, the debate about access into higher education has moved on from simply getting students to university but to making sure they are supported to thrive and succeed. The financial imperatives for institutions are considerable too, to ensure that students enrol are supported to complete and succeed.
HEFCE and OFFA are working together more closely and have devised a joint strategy for widening participation and the promotion of fair access, with a critical focus on student success once they arrive. The role of access agreements will come under closer scrutiny, to ensure institutions are setting and meeting appropriate targets for their student population.
Dr Louise Gazeley, Lecturer in Education, University of Sussex; Associate, Action on Access.
Nick Brown, Project Coordinator, Brightside Trust.
Sarah Lawther, Learning and Teaching Officer, Nottingham Trent University.