The OfS is funding a team led by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Social Mobility to help universities and colleges around the country generate stronger evidence of the impact of their work to reach out to disadvantaged young people.
The team – a partnership between researchers at the University of Exeter, the Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Oxford and the Brightside Trust – will support partnerships of universities, colleges and other local organisations funded by the OfS through the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) to more effectively evaluate their efforts.
The team will also draw on the skills and experience of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), an independent ‘what works’ centre funded by the OfS.
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said:
‘NCOP partnerships are helping young people in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the country to benefit from the life changing experience of higher education. Good evaluation is crucial for maximising the impact of this work and making the best use of public funds.
‘We have high expectations of evaluation practice, so we are actively working to support the sector to meet the challenges of effectively evaluating outreach.
‘This work will support NCOP partnerships in generating strong evidence to drive sector-wide improvement in access to higher education and provide a legacy of outreach evaluation resources.'