Evaluation and Evidence Impacts
The University is strongly focused on using evidence and evaluation to understand, and maximise the difference our Widening Participation initiatives make to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our work seeks to explore and help address the complex array of barriers that students, their parents/carers and teachers perceive as influential in driving educational inequalities. Some of the key factors that we focus on include, raising attainment, raising aspirations, knowledge of higher education (HE) and increasing students’ sense of belonging in university environments.
By working collaboratively with academics from across the University, as well as schools and several partners from the charity sector we have started to develop a more robust evidence-base which captures the impacts of our work.
Our results in numbers:
· 86% of our outreach participants were awarded 5 A*-C (including English and Maths) at GCSE level compared to the overall average for their schools of 53%.
· 88% of young people who took part in our sustained programmes went to HE; this is more than double the overall proportion of 18 year olds who apply to university.
· Young people who took part in Pathways to Law (between 2006-2016), were 3.5 times more likely to apply and receive an offer from a top university. They were also four times more likely to accept an offer from a top university.
· Four fifths (80%) of students who took part in the collaborative Realising Opportunities Programme in Years 12-13 obtained a First Class or Upper Second Class degree, slightly above the overall proportion of 76% of all students including those from the most advantaged backgrounds. As graduates, they were also just as likely to enter graduate-level employment or take up further study.
Promoting Geographic Mobility:
· Students who took part in the collaborative outreach programme Realising Opportunities were more likely to travel away from their home region to go to university than all students from low socio-economic groups