The OfS has a new Director of Fair Access and Participation, John Blake, who has recently set out his ambition and aspiration for the regulator’s widening participation work. I welcome his appointment and his particular emphasis on evidence and evaluation as cornerstones of access and participation.
However, there is a very big BUT.
And that is: without a ‘reboot’ (to borrow Michelle Donelan’s phrase) of the OfS’ mandated Access and Participation Plans this year to reflect the changes in HE provision and programmes including current level 3 qualifications, higher technical education, higher and degree apprenticeships and lifelong learning, those Plans will fail to maximise the recruitment and retention of underrepresented cohorts to and through HE and into graduate jobs and the professions.
See my article in this week’s Wonkhe. UVAC has partnered with FACE (Forum for Access and Continuing Education) to run a number of webinar based seminars and discussion forums to debate the latest in policy. Join us for the next meeting in February on Access, Participation and Levelling Up in Technical Education.