Why do evidence and evaluation matter?
The Office for Students requires higher education providers to demonstrate continuous improvement by delivering activities that are:
- demonstrably effective
- strategically focused
Providers must be able to demonstrate which interventions (in which contexts, and to which learners) have worked well. As their understanding of effective practice improves, providers are better equipped to operate effectively, increasing the impact of what they do.
It’s important that providers’ work is informed by the latest available evidence. They also need to evaluate their activities robustly to make sure they continue to be effective, drawing on expertise from across and beyond their organisations, including academic researchers and data specialists.
The Office for Students is well placed to champion issues and share evidence and examples of effective and innovative practice.
The good practice advice on the preparation of access and participation plans for 2019-20 includes links to relevant published research and guidance that providers may wish to access.
Guidance, resources and toolkits
The Higher Education Funding Council for England and The Office for Fair Access have previously published useful resources for providers to support effective practice and robust evaluation.
Higher education providers should refer to these resources when developing their access and participation plans.