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


  • Briefing Paper (for College HE) No 4: Thinking about Evaluation

    published: March-2016

    Looks at the context for evaluation; the challenges faced; evaluation approaches; evaluation planning; effective research questions; kinds of evidence; use of data; some implications from the recent HEFCE National Outcomes Framework; and suggests a number of reflective questions.

  • Briefing Paper (for College HE) No. 3: Effective and Collaborative Outreach

    published: July-2015

    Examines college access and WP approach responding to the strategies and guidance laid down by HEFCE/OFFA outlines and give context to questions that colleges are asking themselves when developing outreach to enable them to reflect on and develop their strategies for effective collaborative outreach

  • Briefing Paper (for College HE) No. 2: Student Retention, Attainment and Success

    published: July-2015

    College challenges: effective practice, reflective questions to develop thinking&effective action, contextual information of issues, e.g. poor course choice/low students confidence in ability/lack of preparation for independent learning/lack of knowledge of pastoral&academic support/identityfinances

  • Briefing Paper (for College HE) No. 1: Widening Participation Measures and Indicators


    Focus on impacts and measures re. access/widening participation in College HE. Contextualises six key indicators of national measures
 developed to identify by proxy students who are disadvantaged/under-represented in HE. Clarifies what they measure and how they can be useful. Action on Access/AoC.

  • Briefing Report 1 What works? Student retention and success change programme, December 2013

    published: December-2013

    Report, overview, description of the main emerging themes in the first year phase 2 of the “What works?”Student Retention and Success programme. It will be on interest to colleagues in institutions planning/implementing change to improve student engagement, belonging, retention and success

  • Retention Bulletin 07 – March 2012

    published: March-2012

    A pre-Retention Convention briefing with advance information from the final event of the What Works? programme; a conference which encompasses retention work from across the sector not just the programme. The convention will provide ideas, tools and enthusiasm for retention and success in HE.

  • Social Mobility through Higher Education:Aligning Widening Participation and Equality

    published: November-2011

    The briefing describes the ways in which institutions are aligning equality with widening participation and discusses how there could be greater alignment between these two related but separate agendas. It offers a set of reflective questions for HEIs to explore creating a greater alignment.

  • Social Mobility through Higher Education: Promoting the success of all Students

    published: September-2011

    This briefing embraces a broad notion of what constitutes student success encompassing: transition into HE; retention, progression and completion within the target award; comparative achievement within HE; and successful progression. It offers a set of reflective questions for HEIs.

  • Social Mobility through Higher Education Topic Briefing on Engaging Adults

    published: July-2011

    This topic briefing is intended to provide an overview of how institutions are engaging with adults and explores the implications and approaches institutions might consider to assist them with further development in this area. It offers a set of reflective questions to help HEIs engage with adults.

  • Retention Bulletin 06 – July 2011

    published: July-2011

    Overview of a conceptual model illustrated with examples and demonstrating how the conceptual framework can be used to aid understanding of practice and develop it further by focusing on institutional transformations to enhance student engagement therefore to improve student retention and success.

  • Social Mobility through Higher Education: Flexible Learning

    published: June-2011

    This topic briefing provides an overview from the 2009 Widening Participation Strategic Assessments of how institutions are providing flexible learning opportunities; and the contribution of different types of flexible learning to widen access and improve success for under-represented groups.

  • Social Mobility through Higher Education Topic Briefing: the Role of Targeting


    This topic briefing provides an overview of how institutions are targeting their widening participation activities and the targeting guidance available to assist them.It offers a set of reflective questions for HEIs to explore how the success of their targeting may be explored and improved.

  • Mainstreaming Widening Participation and Equality in Institutions

    published: May-2011

    This topic briefing provides an overview of what is meant by ‘mainstreaming widening participation and equality’ across the student lifecycle and across the institution.It offers reflective questions for HEIs to explore how mainstreaming strategies and activities may be explored and improved.

  • Retention Bulletin 05 – December 2010

    published: December-2010

    Updates and interim project reports at the end of the second year, and analysis and review of the emrging commonalities and indications of the emerging conceptual model. Links to HEA research publications.

  • Retention Bulletin 04 – July 2010

    published: July-2010

    The emerging findings from the 7 funded projects with top tips to improve student retention and success from the project teams, answering the question of What Works? and based on their evidence to date. Report on Retention Convention March 2010.

  • Retention Bulletin 03 – February 2010

    published: February-2010

    A review of the key issues for the projects – methods used, evaluation, target groups and subject areas examined. Also key conceptual models on student persistence and retention developed in the USA with practical implications for institutions linked to developing UK theoretical frameworks.

  • Retention Bulletin 02 – December 2008

    published: December-2008

    In this second briefing we also provide you with emerging findings from the seven projects. Already they are generating insightful evidence, and tentative commonalities between the projects can be identified. For example

  • Retention Bulletin 01 – April 2008

    published: April-2008

    In this edition of the briefing we provide you with details of the seven projects which have been funded and provide an introduction to the Support and Co-ordination Team. To receive future briefings you need to become a member of the Retention Network.