How can universities best break down barriers to social mobility?
That’s what Nottingham Trent University researchers will set out to answer as part of the new national evidence and impact exchange funded by the Office for Students.
The research consortium, co-led with King’s College London and the Behavioural Insights Team, will build a comprehensive national evidence base on widening access and participation in higher education – to underpin universities work on the ground.
It was announced in a wide ranging speech on access by Universities Minister Chris Skidmore on a visit to Nottingham (28th February, 2019). It also came as the OfS’ new guidance for access and participation plans, which all providers must have approved as a condition of their registration.
The charity, will be an affiliate member of the What Works Network – a government-led initiative to improve the way public sector organisations create, share and use high quality evidence for decision making.
Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said:
“It is a privilege for NTU and our partners to be selected to establish this important national centre which will help improve the ways in which higher education providers engage with students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Through employing an evidence-based approach, NTU makes a significant contribution to social mobility. This centre is an evolution of that approach, enabling all of us in the sector to develop a better understanding of the needs of underrepresented groups.
“It will enable people from diverse backgrounds to gain better access to higher education, to have better experiences at university, and to have better access to graduate jobs when they leave.”