Friday, 13 February 2009

Widening participation


I was given a copy of an internal report by John Harvey Of Actiononaccess last May regarding a small survey on 3 Colleges delivering HE in 2008. These 3 Midlands based Colleges typified the diverse demographics, catchment, management, funding and partnerships between HEIs. I've been wondering how to promote this short report, and now seems quite prescient (see latest HEFCE call below). The report looked at how the recent HE strategies have included and embraced the WP agenda. Again some were already fully engaged with WP and others are weaving it into their internal and external progression plans. Complex funding and partnerships issues were common for HE in FE delivery, but the overall picture was positive. Generally effort seems to be ploughed into more Foundation degrees, closer employer engagement and enhanced support and awareness for internal progression. Also the use of the national HEFCE initiatives Life Long learning networks appear to be helping this remit. It was recognised that the FE Colleges were providing quality, flexible, and vocational study routes to students, responding to local employer needs. John tells me the report is on their site, but will also be included on the HEFCE 2009 HE in FE Best practice page – when it appears? In the meanwhile have a browse around their website, and in particular the reports on transferable practice.


In a post in August 08 I mentioned the two tools that were developed to help access to HE, namely ;


"...provide a significant voice in supporting the delivery of HE in FE, supporting the enhancement of its quality, and providing advice to individual

agencies and to education institutions as to how practice can be developed. It provides a non-partisan platform for member organisations to bring issues to

meetings to discuss and will, in the next 12 months, commence a series of workshops to focus on individual topics."

Our local ACP is based at Wolverhampton University, headed up by Ian Hart, Associate Dean, Education Partnerships.


  • Recent HEFCE Request for widening participation strategic assessments

This document requests higher education institutions and further education colleges directly funded by HEFCE to submit widening participation strategic assessments. It outlines the reporting framework and provides guidance that sets out the expectations of HEFCE and the Office for Fair Access. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2009/09_01/ . Assessments should be submitted by Tuesday 30 June 2009.

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