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Fair Access in Higher Education Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor HEPI House of Commons Seminar, 20 th March 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Fair Access in Higher Education Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor HEPI House of Commons Seminar, 20 th March 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fair Access in Higher Education Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor HEPI House of Commons Seminar, 20 th March 2013

2 1. Where were we?

3 Source: University Challenge: How Higher Education Can Advise Social Mobility, October 2012 Growth in UK Higher Education

4 Source: Higher Education Funding Policy: Who Wins and Who Looses?, March 2005 Note: Missing data point for 1989 due to change in data source UK higher education funding and participation, pre 2006 reforms

5 National Progress on WP Overall young participation rate increased from 30% in to 36% in The participation rate for the lowest participation areas rose from 14% to 19% between and Since the mid-2000s the majority of additional entrants to HE have come from more disadvantaged areas Source: HEFCE Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England, January 2010

6 Trends in young participation for England Source: HEFCE Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England, January 2010

7 Trends in young participation for the most disadvantaged areas determined by HE participation rates (POLAR2 classification, adjusted) Source: HEFCE Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England, January 2010

8 Trends in young participation for the most advantaged areas determined by HE participation rates (POLAR2 classification, adjusted) Source: HEFCE Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England, January 2010

9 2. What did people expect?

10 The new fee regime – the advocates Advocates expected a short-run dip in applications based on reaction to £3k fee introduced in 2006 Appropriate information for students would alleviate concerns and misconceptions Would create a repayment schedule that reduced in-year costs for students

11 The new fee regime – the sceptics Critics argued £9k fees would see significant and sustained fall in applications The fear of debt would deter people from going to university Higher fees would undermine widening participation

12 3. What has happened so far?

13 Were the sceptics wrong? At the close of the 2013 UCAS applications cycle 34.8% of the 18 year old age cohort had applied for university This is the second highest on record (35% in 2011) There has been an increase in the number of applicants from the lower socio-economic quintile There has been a decrease in the number of applicants from the higher socio-economic quintile N.B. This is in addition to the £300m of HEFCE agreed WP activity

14 Acceptances by POLAR2 quintile (UK domiciled only, aged 19 and under ) Source: UCAS End of Cycle report, 2012

15 Entry rates of advantaged and disadvantaged English 18- year-olds to higher tariff institutions and all institutions Source: UUK Analytical Briefing – Undergraduate Admissions 2012, March 2013

16 Expenditure on OFFA-countable financial support, outreach and retention, HEIs and FECs Source: OFFA/HEFCE National Strategy for Access and Student Success – January 2013

17 University spend on WP activities In , spending under access agreements comprised c£424m (24.4% of higher fee income) Of this: £378m (21.7% of higher fee income) was spent on financial support for students £46m (2.7% of higher fee income) was spent on additional outreach or other WP activities From 2012 the spending is set to increase to a total of £672m by (excluding the Governments contribution to the NSP).

18 Number of institutions delivering listed interventions using HEFCE widening access funding with schools and colleges (base = 98) Source: OFFA/HEFCE National Strategy for Access and Student Success – January 2013

19 UoB flagship WP activities: Institutional: Access to Birmingham (A2B) 2010/ Applications, 236 Entrants 2011/12 – 1166 Applications, 280 Entrants Forward Thinking Y8-Y /11 – 378 students (10 cohorts from Y8-Y11) 2011/12 – 424 students (11 cohorts from Y8-Y11) Academic Enrichment Programme Y12-Y /11 – 108 students 2011/12 – 99 students Partnership: Aimhigher Realising Opportunities

20 4. Challenges for WP in the future

21 Challenges to continued progress in WP Complex student number controls Increasingly complex system for financial support Potential longer-term changes in perceptions of HE GCSE and A Level reform Tracking, evaluating and demonstrating impact of WP initiatives Increased competition in the sector – potential for less collaboration? Further equality and diversity issues (gender and ethnicity)

22 Acceptances by sex ( ) Source: UCAS End of Cycle report, 2012

23 Acceptances by ethnicity (UK domiciled only ) Source: UCAS End of Cycle report, 2012

24 Sustained outreach OFFA / HEFCE encouraging increased spend on: sustained outreach with learners in Key Stages 2,3 & 4 Long-term, co-ordinated outreach is a more effective use of access funds than financial support for students entering HE Yet politicians continue to focus on scholarships and bursaries A sector fuelled by political uncertainty drives funding into bursaries rather than outreach

25 Have bursaries influenced choice between universities? The introduction of bursaries has not influenced the choice of university for disadvantaged young people Applications from disadvantaged young people have not changed in favour of universities offering higher bursaries Disadvantaged young people have not become more likely to choose conditional offers from universities offering higher bursaries Since bursaries were introduced most of the increase in the participation of disadvantaged young people has been in universities offering lower bursaries Source: OFFA 2010, Dr Mark Corver

26 So, where are we? The new system is taking shape Trend improvement in WP has continued Investment in WP is at an all-time high There is more to do Long term investment in outreach works but isnt a quick fix Should schools be further challenged? The need to address the serious fall in part-time and mature participation The system is not financially sustainable

27 Questions Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor HEPI House of Commons Seminar, 20 th March 2013


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