Participation performance measures

Strategic objective 1:

‘All students, from all backgrounds, with the ability and desire to undertake higher education, are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.’

We have two strategic outcomes under this strategic objective, and seven key performance measures (KPMs) to help us demonstrate progress against them.

1. Gap in participation between most and least represented groups

29.9 percentage points

In 2018-19, there was a gap of 29.9 percentage points between the most and least represented groups


We have postponed setting a target for this measure – learn more

The overall participation gap has reduced steadily in recent years.

See KPM 1

2. Gap in participation at higher-tariff providers between the most and least represented groups

19.5 percentage points

In 2018-19, there was a gap of 19.5 percentage points between the most and least represented groups


Target: To eliminate the gap in entry rates at higher-tariff providers between the most and least represented groups by 2038-39

The participation gap at higher-tariff providers has reduced slightly after years of increases, and the participation ratio has declined in recent years.

See KPM 2

3. Gap in non-continuation between most and least represented groups

4.4 percentage points

In 2017-18, there was a difference of 4.4 percentage points between the non-continuation rates of the most and the least represented groups


Target: To eliminate the unexplained gap in non-continuation between most and least represented groups by 2024-25, and to eliminate the absolute gap by 2030-31

The gap in non-continuation has changed very little since 2014-15.

See KPM 3

4. Gap in degree outcomes (1sts or 2:1s) between white students and black students

22.1 percentage points

In 2018-19, there was a difference of 22.1 percentage points between the proportion of white and black students getting a 1st or 2:1


Target: To eliminate the unexplained gap in degree outcomes (1sts or 2:1s) between white students and black students by 2024-25, and to eliminate the absolute gap by 2030-31

The gap in degree outcomes has been falling but remains large.

See KPM 4

5. Gap in degree outcomes (1sts or 2:1s) between disabled students and non-disabled students

2.5 percentage points

In 2018-19, there was a difference of 2.5 percentage points between the proportion of disabled and non-disabled students getting a 1st or 2:1


Target: To eliminate the gap in degree outcomes between disabled students and non-disabled students by 2024-25

There has been a small reduction in the gap in degree outcomes since 2017-18.

See KPM 5

6. The proportion of access and participation plans that contain robust evaluation methods, focused on impact and leading to improved practice

In development:

We have paused some activity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (see information on our business plan for further details).

We hope to specify this measure soon.

This will be an interim measure looking at the use of effective evidence and evaluation.

Making sure that interventions either have a strong evidence base, or are developing new evidence themselves, will ultimately improve the impact of access and participation spending and therefore support improvements in outcomes for students. We will soon develop more sophisticated measures looking at the standards of evidence used.

7. Ratio of outcomes achieved through access and participation to money spent on access and participation

In development:

We have paused some activity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (see information on our business plan for further details).

We hope to specify this measure soon.

We don’t just want access and participation work to have an impact, we want it to have as much impact as possible given the resources available.

The measure will capture the sector's ability to use access and participation funding effectively.

Feedback

We welcome feedback on the key performance measures, including on our overall approach and on individual measures. If you have any comments or queries, please contact Josh Fleming at [email protected].

If you have any queries about the statistics published as KPMs, please contact Hannah White at [email protected].

The Office for Students is committed to following the Code of Practice for Statistics for the statistics it produces. See more information and our statistics release schedule

If you have any other questions or complaints about statistics produced by the Office for Students, please contact Mark Gittoes, Head of Profession for Statistics, at [email protected] or call 0117 931 7052.

Last updated 09 September 2020
09 September 2020
Targets added for KPMs 2, 3, 4 and 5
09 July 2020
Update on specification timescales for KPMs 6 and 7
02 April 2020
KPMs 1 - 5 annual update
18 December 2019
Specification dates updated

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