Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education

We are funding a new independent 'What Works' centre to help universities meet challenging targets to eliminate equality gaps in higher education within 20 years.

The Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO) uses evidence and evaluation to understand and show how higher education contributes to social justice and mobility.

TASO was established in 2019 by a consortium from King’s College London, Nottingham Trent University, and the Behavioural Insights Team. It is currently funded by the OfS and will be fully independent and financially sustainable by 2022.

TASO is an independent hub for higher education professionals to access leading research, toolkits, evaluation techniques and more, to help widen participation and improve equality across the student lifecycle.

Launching and funding TASO is one key component of our strategy for evidence and evaluation in access and participation.

Find out more about TASO

Evaluating TASO

Ensuring evidence and evaluation are being used effectively by both the OfS and higher education providers is important to drive improvements in access and participation. It is important that we understand the impact of our investment and how TASO is delivering against its aims and objectives.

We have commissioned Technopolis to undertake an independent evaluation over a five year period, to understand the impact of TASO beyond the original grant funding.

Technopolis will be working with TASO, the OfS, higher education providers and other What Works centres to determine its impact.

A key stage of the evaluation has been to establish a baseline on how evidence is used in providers’ access and participation work, and the sector’s perceptions of TASO and its role as an affiliate What Works centre. As part of this, over 100 providers responded to a survey which was followed up with a small number of interviews with providers and sector stakeholders.

The report provides recommendations for the OfS, TASO and the sector on use of evidence and future engagement both with and from TASO.

Read the baseline evaluation report

Current evaluation work

All higher education providers in the Approved (fee cap) category of the OfS Register have been invited to complete a voluntary survey to establish current use of evaluation and evidence in access and participation practice, and their perceptions of TASO and its role as an independent What Works centre.

The survey will close on Friday 18 June 2021 and we encourage all providers to submit a response.

For further information on the evaluation, providers can contact Dr Adam Krcal ([email protected]) from Technopolis.

Last updated 28 April 2021
28 April 2021
Updated with survey details
05 February 2021
Added link to TASO baseline report
21 May 2020
Changed survey close date
07 May 2020
Changed survey close date
20 April 2020
Minor text updates and new section on evaluation

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