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breaking barriers to he | TRAINING resources

Thank you for taking part in the Widening Participation CPD, we hope you enjoyed this session. Please find some useful information and resources below. This includes key sources used within the training.

What is Widening Participation?

“Widening participation strategy aims to address discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between different under-represented groups of students.” – House of Commons Briefing Paper, Jan 2018.

Local universities may have widening participation activity that schools and colleges can get involved in. They may also be able to provide information on contextual admissions and support available at university.

The following are links to research, or third-party providers, who focus on specific underrepresented groups’ progression to higher education.

office for students/uni connect

How Uni Connect works
This page provides an overview of how Uni Connect Works, their main focus and who they work with.

OfS Young Participation by area
These pages show OfS’s different measures of young participation in higher education by local areas.

They look at how likely young people are to participate in higher education across the UK and show how this varies by area.

Tackling inequalities in English higher education
This video by OfS looks at new approaches to promoting equal opportunities in English higher education.

OfS programme boosts outreach to underrepresented students
This article looks at the evaluation of the Uni Connect programme and its learner outcomes.

SUN’s HE Roadmap
This road map outlines the different education opportunities available at each level.

What is POLAR data?
This article explains POLAR data and how useful it is in measuring disadvantage.


What is Widening Participation – annual statistics
This page outlines the annual statistics on young peoples’ participation in higher education by student characteristics.

Avoiding analysis of racial disparity in higher education is one way to avoid fixing it
This article by WonkHE looks at the Westminster report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in Higher Education.

Widening Participation – The benefit for schools
Widening Participation can be an unfamiliar term. This video by the University of Sussex seeks to give an insight into the reasons why schools might want to engage with university widening participation teams.

TASO launches report on attainment-raising
This report discusses attainment-raising activities and shows where there is evidence of promise.

Schools, attainment and the role of higher education Insight brief from the Office for Students

Young Carers: Aiming Higher Report A study looking at how young people are impacted by a caring role when attending or considering attending higher education

Consistency needed: Care experienced students and higher education This brief looks at the obstacles care experienced students face and how they can be addressed, including examples of good practice and recommendations

Stand Alone Pledge
This report looks at developing support for estranged students in higher education.

Overcoming the barriers to working-class students’ participation in higher education
This report covers the main findings from a small-scale research study funded by the Sussex Learning Network. The objective was to provide more contextualised understandings of the factors that feed into working class students’ participation in higher education.

Equality-Aware Career Conversations
These PowerPoint slides discuss key considerations in Equality Awareness.


Benefits of education are societal and personal
This article discusses benefits to higher education.

The road not taken: the drivers of course selection
This report looks at the determinants and consequences of post-16 education choices.

Education in England: Annual Report 2019
The Education Policy Institute (EPI), in partnership with the Fair Education Alliance (FEA), has published its flagship Annual Report on the state of education in England.

Contextual Admissions Widening access and participation information from UCAS, including guidance on supporting student awareness of contextual admissions

Organisations working with under-represented groups

Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP) based at University of Winchester
The SCiP Alliance bring people together to improve educational outcomes for children and young people from Armed Forces families.

Rees Centre based at University of Oxford
This group focuses on education outcomes of people who have been supported by children’s social care services.

The Sutton Trust
The Sutton Trust is a social mobility charity.

Hope Support Services
Hope Support Services supports young people who help care for a loved one with a life-limiting illness.

Student Minds
Student Mind offers peer support for Black students.

Disability Rights UK
Disability Risk UK offer a student helpline for students with disabilities.

Student Action for Refugees
This is a network of student groups working to improve the life of refugees in the UK.

Stand Alone Stand Alone support adults that are estranged from their family or key family members. They provide advice for students who have no contact with their family.

Sign up to our Future Steps platform to continue the conversation. We have an open CPD group for all those who have engaged in the Breaking Barriers to Higher Education CPD. You can ask further questions and/or share best practice.

arts university bournemouth

Contact information

Widening Participation |

Admissions |

Student Advice |


Contact information

Schools Liaison |

Future Students (Admissions and Student Services for prospective students) |


Contact information

Pre-16 |

Post-16 |

Admissions |

Student Hub |


Contact information

Recruitment and Outreach |

Admissions |

Student Support |


Contact information

Outreach |

Admissions |

Student Services |

University of Winchester

Contact information

Widening Participation |

Admissions |

Student Advice |