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

Resources (and 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 includes a specific resource for those working to support disabled learners – ‘tagdisability’. Most are free to download or view on our website:

  • Reports
  • Briefings
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Events listings
  • Vacancy service
  • tagdisability
  • Plus information, news and views of key reports, publication, events and conferences on access, participation and student success published by others.
  • AonA authorises and moderates a number of electronic Jiscmail distribution lists.

See our latest monthly eBulletin on the Briefings webpage.


(Please mention that you saw the vacancy in the Action on Access eBulletin when applying for any of these applications, to aid the continuing publication of this free bulletin.)

Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, Sheffield Hallam University

Transforming Lives is at the heart of the University mission and strategy, with a focus on the ‘Hallam Difference’ making a truly transformative impact on our students’ futures. Sheffield Hallam University has a strong track record in Widening Participation, 96.7% of our students are from state schools, 19.6% are from low participation areas and over half of all our undergraduates have household incomes below £42,875. We are the lead Institution for the regional NCOP and our long-term collaborative outreach partnership with The University of Sheffield, HEPP (the Higher Education Progression Partnership).

As Head of Widening Participation and Outreach you will provide leadership and management to the University’s strategy, policy and delivery of widening participation. You will lead a team responsible for the design and delivery of high quality, evidence-driven widening participation projects and activities. You will provide expert advice to senior managers and other stakeholders. As the external University lead in relation to Widening Participation you will play a key role in collaborative developments, and with external groups to raise the reputational profile of the institution.

We are looking for a dynamic individual with demonstrable experience of leading teams to deliver objectives, confidence and experience in building strong working relationships and networks would be expected.

Fixed term post until 31 January 2019. Salary: £38,183 to £48,327 per annum. Closing Date: 30 July 2017. Further information:


Senior Access Officer (Post-16), UCL Department / Division, Student and Registry Services

The Access and Widening Participation Office delivers activities to encourage applications from students who come from socio-economic backgrounds currently under-represented in higher education. The Post 16 team deliver programmes and events for Years 11 – 13, including summer schools, workshops, taster sessions and sustained engagement programmes for highly able students. The post-holder will have line management responsibilities for at least two full-time Access Officers and one Graduate Ambassador.

As a key member of the Post 16 team, this post-holder is responsible for the development and delivery of the Uni-Link and Aspire programmes for students in Years 12 and 13, the Discover UCL Summer School for D/deaf students in Years 11 and 12, and other projects and initiatives. The post holder will also develop and deliver the Transition Programme for first-year undergraduate UCL students.

The successful candidate will have excellent project management and communication skills, and experience of managing budgets. Knowledge of UK education is essential, as is the ability to communicate effectively with children, young people and their families. Supervisory experience of staff or casual student staff is also required. Full time post. Salary: £34,056 – £41,163 per annum (inclusive of London allowance). Closing Date: 1 Aug 2017. Interview date: 18 August. Further information:


Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator (Communities and Families)

The Widening Participation and Outreach team at Sheffield Hallam University deliver a range of school and community based activity to support and encourage progression into higher education. We focus particularly on supporting those from groups under-represented at our university and in higher education more widely, and work alongside colleagues in the Student Recruitment and Admissions teams to encourage a wide range of people to come and study at Sheffield Hallam.

Using your experience in engaging with young people and/or adults in either a school or community setting, you will take a lead on our Communities and Families targeted outreach work. This work is designed to raise awareness and aspirations, helping to support progression to higher education. You will develop and manage community relationships, collaborate both internally and externally to develop new outreach activity and support in developing our experience and expertise in widening participation.

The role offers the chance for a committed and creative person to run our existing programmes of activity with the community and help shape our future work with these target groups. You will possess strong project management skills and will be working alongside colleagues and student ambassadors to deliver a range of activities and resources. Excellent communication skills and experience of working collaboratively will be essential to succeeding in the role.

Salary: £21,843 to £25,298 per annum, fixed term until 11/05/18. Closing date for applications: 1 August 2017. Further information:


Freelance Schools Creative Practitioner (Outreach Project).

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) aims to support the most disadvantaged young people in England to progress into higher education (HE).  The University of Salford, working with Salford Museum and Art Gallery are piloting an outreach project specifically to encourage access to arts subjects, as part of the Greater Manchester Higher Consortium.

We are looking for a confident and resourceful, freelance creative practitioner to lead the pilot project.  You should have at least 3 years’ experience of developing and delivering practical arts activities with young people aged 14-17 and a sound knowledge of arts programmes in museums, galleries or libraries in the North West. You will be expected to work in a freelance capacity between early September 2017 – December 2018. Fee £10,000 (+ VAT) based on approximately 50 days work. Budget £5,000. Closing date: 4 August 2017. For initial enquiries about the role please email Lindsay Taylor: Further information:


Widening Participation Coordinator, St. George’s, University of London
This is an exciting opportunity to take a leading role in the implementation and continued development of St George’s award-winning Widening Participation activity, to promote Higher Education and increase the number of students from under-represented groups entering medical and healthcare related degree courses.

The post holder will be responsible for the management and delivery of an extensive range of existing widening participation projects, including the Student Ambassador Scheme, Experiments Roadshows, Year 7-10 Clinical Skills Taster days and Soft Skills workshops.  In addition they will support the WP Officer in the coordination and delivery of up to six Spring/Summer Schools per year, including taking leadership responsibility for the Year 7&8 Summer School. They will evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives and oversee evidence-based development and refinement of all our WP activity to further improve best practice. They will have excellent interpersonal skills, able to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds and should be able to work independently on their own areas of work as a constructive member of a team.
The post holder must have experience of project management, excellent organisational, communication and analytical skills, and a strong interest in and commitment to widening of educational participation. St. George’s, University of London, is the only remaining independently governed medical school in the country. A College of the University of London, we have been providing medical and healthcare training for over 250 years.
Fixed term 12-month maternity cover post. Salary: £25,298 – £31,076 per annum plus £2,976 London Allowance. Closing date: 6 August 2017. Interviews: 17 August 2017.

Further information:

Analyst, OFFA

An opportunity has arisen for a talented individual to join the data and analysis team at the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). Join a small, busy team working with a range of key teams across OFFA. You will be working with other analysts to plan, deliver and develop a strong analytical base to support the organisation. This will include running annual data collection processes, maintaining (and developing) tools to assist OFFA`s policy team with assessing data collections from universities and colleges and producing published data tables. Using a variety of skills and tools you will help to communicate and engage with OFFA`s internal and external stakeholders in a range of ways, including data briefings and presentations, data analysis and report writing.
This will be a challenging and interesting role where you`ll make an important and valued contribution across all levels of the organisation`s work, in an area that`s high on the public policy agenda. We`re a small organisation (just 31 people) but we punch above our weight so you`ll know you are really helping to promote fair access and social mobility.

2 year fixed-term contract. Salary: £28,624. Closing date: 12 August 2017.

For an informal chat about the role, contact Georgina Holt (Senior Analyst) or Neha Agarwal (Head of Data and Analysis).
Further information:


PhD opportunity, University of Bath

A project to investigate the extent to which the specification of subject qualifications for entry to particular courses at universities unnecessarily restricts applications from potential students and inhibits efforts to widen social class access to higher education, as well as the gender mix of STEM subjects’ student populations. It will seek to establish the extent to which specific entry requirements are supported by evidence of their correlation to degree performance. The initial work on this project will use data from within the University of Bath, but will also work with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) (in Bristol and Cheltenham) to obtain anonymised evidence for different subjects in different universities. The project will test the degree outcomes of students in selected STEM disciplines against their A-level subjects at entry, and undertake further analysis of entry qualifications by social class, gender and school type.

Closing date: 18 August 2017; we aim to interview soon afterwards, and we would like the successful candidate to start by 2nd October 2017. Competitively awarded University of Bath studentships are available to support highly qualified UK/EU applicants. Funding for Home/EU candidates includes: full tuition fees, £1000 per year Training Support Grant and Stipend of £14,553 (2017-8 rate).

Applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with a first class honours undergraduate degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent); they are likely to have a background in economics, statistics, or public policy economics, and are likely to be aiming for a career in one of these areas. A knowledge of working with large databases will be an advantage.

Further information: