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Area Partnerships

The Aimhigher programme was a key component of government policy to widen and so increase participation in higher education from 2003-2011.

The Aimhigher Area Partnerships, covered the whole of England, and were a key vehicle for promoting and securing widening access. 

They were required by HEFCE and BIS to:

  • be able to show how they have contributed to narrowing the social class gap in learner attainment and participation in higher education
  • have encouraged more positive learner identities through targeted outreach work
  • have embedded Aimhigher activity in the work of all partners by developing links between HEIs, schools, colleges and work-based learning providers
  • have made a recognised contribution to the improvement plans of target schools and colleges in respect of aspirations, attainment and progression

The key Aimhigher activities which were considered to have been most effective were:

  • Aimhigher campus visits
  • mentoring (face to face or electronic)
  • master classes, including subject enrichment or revision sessions
  • student ambassadors
  • information, advice and guidance
  • summer schools and other HE related residential experiences
  • school- or college-based interventions as part of an agreed programme