The National Co-ordination Team for Widening Participation and Access to Higher Education

Resources (and current vacancy information)

Action on Access has a developed a range of resources for individual institutions and organisations, as well as national publications for the sector as a whole, a free up-to-date vacancy service, events listings, and monthly newsletter all free to download or view on our website:

  • Reports
  • Briefings
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Events listings
  • Vacancy service
  • Monthly WP and access eBulletin
  • Plus information, news and views of key reports


                            CURRENT VACANCIES

Please let  the institutions and organisations you apply to know that you saw this vacancy on the Action on Access website


Head of Evidence, Learning and Work Institute

We’re looking to recruit a Head of Evidence to join our new ‘what works’ team.  As Head of Evidence, play a leading role in establishing an independent and world-class hub for evidence and advice on learning, skills and employment.  You will have responsibility for leading and managing the generation and dissemination of high-quality evidence and knowledge.

As Head of Evidence you will bring strong knowledge and expertise in a range of analytical and evaluation techniques, a track record of delivering projects, building networks and an interest in the policy context for learning, skills and employment.

In return, you’ll have the chance to shape, lead and deliver a unique and exciting unit at Learning and Work, and to be part of a dynamic and committed team.

Learning and Work Institute is an independent research and development organisation dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion.

We’re focused on the big questions.  How do we help more people find work and build careers in a changing jobs market?  How do we help people to be active and engaged citizens?  How can more adults develop their skills over their lifetime?  And how do we do all of this at a time of constrained public finances?

As part of our vision for a prosperous and fair society in which learning and work provide opportunities for everyone to realise their potential and ambitions throughout life, we are establishing a new ‘what works’ function at L&W to support policy makers and practitioners to make evidence-based decisions that lead to better outcomes.

L&W prides itself on being a supportive and flexible employer. We recognise the importance of work-life balance for our staff and will consider flexible working arrangements. Location: Leicester/London.  Permanent, full time post.  Salary: £40,000-£50,000 per annum.  Closing date: 12 noon, 17 June 2019.  Interview date: 25 June 2019.  Further information:


Research Manager - Evidence and Analysis, Learning and Work Institute

As a Research Manager you will play an integral role in establishing an independent and world-class hub for evidence and advice on learning, skills and employment. You will have responsibility for managing and generating high-quality evidence and knowledge; managing budgets and resources; working effectively with stakeholders; and ensuring that our work makes an impact on policy and practice. The ideal candidate for this role will bring strong knowledge and experience of a range of analytical and evaluation techniques, a track record of delivering projects and an interest in the policy context for learning, skills and employment.

Location: Leicester/London.  Permanent, full time post.  Salary: £30,000-£39,000 per annum.  Closing date: 12 noon, 17 June 2019.  Interview date: 25 June 2019. Further information:


Aimhigher London Finance and Office Manager, Aimhigher London, Aimhigher London Office, Kingston University
The purpose of this role is to support the Company Director with the day to day running of the office, accounting and personnel functions.  This is a great part-time opportunity for a well-organised individual with bags of initiative who wishes to apply their financial knowledge and organisational skills in a growing organisation. To view the full job description, person specification and terms of service for this role click here.

21 hours per week, flexible working pattern two years fixed term contract.  Salary: £40,000 pa (pro rata 21 hours per week £24,000).  Closing date: 23 June 2019.

Application is by CV and covering letter Reference: Aimhigher London Finance and Office Manager to Catherine Fenwick

Interviews are to be held at Kingston University on Tuesday 9th July.

Informal enquiries concerning this role can be directed to Catherine Fenwick


Student Support and Welfare Officer – Care Leavers, Young Carers, Estranged Students, Brunel University

The Student Support and Welfare Team at Brunel University London is seeking a dedicated professional to join our outstanding team of Student Welfare Officers.  This varied and challenging role will be providing comprehensive advice and support to students from specific under-represented groups in order to provide a holistic approach to their support.  We aspire to provide an education free from barriers to enable students from all backgrounds to achieve an outcome to the best of their ability. You will advise, support and advocate for these students in partnership with the Widening Access Officer for Care Leavers, Estranged, Mature and Young Carers.  The support you offer will include face to face and online sessions with staff and students, producing booklets, keeping abreast of national and regional developments and changes to government policy as well as developing strong links with the Widening Access team.

You should have a first degree or equivalent and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. You will also be expected to have experience of handling sensitive information and situations. Working in a student services department within HE would be an advantage.  The successful candidate will be DBS checked.
Full-Time, permanent post.  Salary: £29,191 to £33,468 per annum (incl. London Allowance).  Closing date: 23 June 2019.  Interview date: 12 July 2019


NCOP Community and Parental Engagement Officer, Aimhigher London, Aimhigher London Office, Kingston University
As an integral member of the current National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) team this role will be pivotal in developing and taking forward a community engagement strategy that meets the aims and objectives of programme. You will be our eyes and ears on the ground, quickly finding out community passions and connecting people to others to make things happen. To do this you will need to establish strong and robust relationships within NCOP schools and communities and work towards facilitating a core network of parents.  This role is ideal for someone with an understanding and experience of social mobility issues as they affect individuals on a day to day basis.  With much of your time being spent out in the community you will need excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work independently and under your own initiative.  Click here to view the full job description, person specification and terms of service.

Full time two years fixed term contract.  Salary: £33,688 pa.  Closing date: 23 June 2019.

Application is by CV and covering letter Reference: NCOP Community and Parental Engagement Officer to

Interviews are to be held at Kingston University on Friday 12th July 2019

Informal enquiries can be directed to Suzanne Marchment


Aimhigher Learner Progression Co-ordinator, Aimhigher London office, Kingston University
The successful applicant will support the delivery of the Aimhigher London Learner Progression Programme, a series of collaborative conferences for KS3 to post 16 learners.  This is an exciting opportunity for a confident self-starter wishing to develop their knowledge of outreach and widening participation and contribute to the social mobility of young people.  To view the full job description, person specification and terms of service click here.

Full time one year fixed term contract.  Salary: £24,400 pa.  Closing date: 23 June 2019.

Application is by CV and covering letter Reference: Aimhigher Learner Progression Co-ordinator to

Interviews are to be held at Kingston University on Monday 8th July

Informal enquiries can be directed to Lucia Byrne


PhD Studentship Opportunity, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

This full-time, three year PhD exciting opportunity will investigate linguistic performance and attitudes to medical students from underrepresented backgrounds.  The study aims to explore whether there is evidence of linguistic prejudice and whether this could impact on academic performance.  Closing date: 24 June 2019.  Further information:


Widening Participation Officers, 2 posts, Edinburgh Napier University

Our Widening Participation team works in partnership across the university and externally to reduce barriers and enable fairness in access to higher education for groups that are under-represented at university.  The team also supports students to make the journey into and through the university, through tailored transition activities to improve retention, engagement and success.  The team works collaboratively across the university with all of our academic schools and service areas.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about widening access and believes that those with the talent and potential to succeed should be given the opportunity to access higher education.  You will have excellent communication skills and the ability to engage with people from a wide range of backgrounds.

The Widening Participation Officers will assist in the development and delivery of recruitment and transition activities/workshops and provide advice and guidance to potential applicants.  We currently work with a number of schools and colleges across Scotland.  We also work collaboratively with external partners (LEAPS, Lift-off, SWAP, Aspire North, Focus West) and other universities to deliver Widening Participation activity.

Please note there will be some travel required in this role, therefore a full driving license would be advantageous.  This role will involve some evening and weekend working.

Salary: £26,243 – £31,302 per annum.  Closing date: 26 June 2019.


Head of Access and Outreach, External Relations, University of York

We are seeking to appoint an experienced, and customer focused Head of Access and Outreach to lead the busy Widening Participation team within Marketing, Recruitment, Admissions and Outreach (MRAO) at the University of York.

Committed to and passionate about access and outreach you will to take the lead on the University of York’s widening participation and access agenda. You will be highly persuasive, and able to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders at all levels, including with the most senior staff across the institution to ensure commitment to this strategically important initiative.

The post holder will lead on activities which seek to improve access for under-represented groups, working closely with other senior MRAO staff to ensure the University’s access activities support the University’s wider student recruitment objectives relating to the growth, shape and nature of the student body. Establishing effective relationships with schools and colleges across different key stages in the student journey will be central to success, as will working collaboratively with York’s Student Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing leadership and their teams to maximise the impact of all WP activities.

The role will manage the Widening Participation team, so you will have strong leadership skills and not be afraid to make difficult decisions. A considerable element of the role will involve project work, so previous experience of managing and successfully delivering projects is essential.

With excellent leadership, communication and analytical skills, and the ability to contribute innovative ideas and solutions, you will have a good honours degree (or equivalent), experience of managing a team in a busy complex environment, and managing budgets.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact: Roxanne Pendlebury, (01904) 324 035

Full-time post.  Salary: £50,132 – £58,089 a year.  Closing date: 28 June 2019.  Interview date: 24 July 2019.


Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer (3 posts available), Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester

If you’re committed to equality of opportunity, creating opportunities for students and would like to represent a world famous university to the next generation of prospective students, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you.  We need a committed and engaging presence to join our marketing and recruitment team.

The successful applicant will report to the Associate Head of Recruitment and Widening Participation, you will lead the delivery and reporting of key student recruitment activities and/or widening participation programmes targeting under-represented groups in higher education.  You will work collaboratively as one of three Student Recruitment and Outreach Officers: whilst the roles will overlap and share responsibilities, each may have a key focus on particular initiatives (broadly split by WP, UG and PG recruitment activities).

Key tasks for this post will include:

Planning, co-ordinating, delivering and reporting on a wide range of UG and PG recruitment, conversion and outreach activities, on and off-campus, including: recruitment fairs, summer schools, subject enrichment activities and HE experience sessions including supporting events targeted at groups under-represented in HE.

Deliver inspiring presentations to a range of audiences, including prospective UG and PG students, parents/carers and teachers, and organise such activities as the annual Teachers’ Advisors’ Conference for partner schools and colleges, as well as internal progression events.

Implementing a thorough evaluation strategy and monitoring the effectiveness of all activities, providing quantitative and qualitative information to the Associate Head of Recruitment and WP and other senior leaders, to track performance and further develop activities and outcomes against benchmarks.

Build and develop effective relationships with staff and students within the RAU’s schools and college liaison network, whilst identifying new opportunities for collaboration, engagement and student recruitment.

Educated to degree level, you will need to demonstrate recent experience of student recruitment, widening participation or admissions ideally in a higher education environment.

Also important will be excellent relationship building, presentation, organisation and project management skills, together with a flexible approach and the ability to undertake frequent travel and set up exhibition stands.  You must be willing and able to deliver events across the UK and be prepared to work some weekends and evenings involving overnight stays.

Full time permanent posts.  Salary: £25,482 to £30,394 per annum.  Closing date: 30 June 2019.


Widening Access Officer, Brunel University London

The Directorate of Communications, Marketing and Student Recruitment are seeking a Widening Access Officer to join their team.  A key part of this role involves delivering a programme of outreach activities and working closely with local schools, colleges and other organisations, to attract under-represented groups to consider progressing to Higher Education.  This will ensure that we continue to achieve our objectives of fair access and admissions diversity, and meet the targets of the University’s Access and Participation Plan.

You will have experience of working in Higher Education or evidence of transferable skills and experience, as well as experience of successfully delivering widening access-supporting activities.  A working knowledge of child safeguarding legislation is required for this role.  In addition, you should have the ability to build and maintain relationships with internal and external contacts, be passionate about the value of Higher Education and committed to widening access.

The successful candidate must be educated to degree level or equivalent, be able to demonstrate a good understanding of widening participation policy and have the ability to work collaboratively across organisational boundaries. It is essential that they have excellent presentation and communication skills in order to liaise effectively with prospective students, their teachers and parents. A satisfactory check by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) is required for this role, as well as a full driving licence and own car.
Full-Time, permanent post available from 1 August 2019.  Salary (£35,365 to £41,775 per annum (incl. London Allowance).  Closing date: 30 June 2019.