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Widening Participation and Fair Access in Higher Education

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As a result of the Government’s decisions on the Browne Review of higher education funding and student finance and the new financial framework for universities, the ability of any university in England to charge fees above the basic level of £6,000 is dependent on an Access Agreement being approved by the Director of Fair Access. The Access Agreements include details of widening participation activities which each university will need to implement, monitor and evaluate. The Government, in pursuing its objective of ‘making Britain a more open and meritocratic society in which talent is not wasted’, is requiring universities to undertake activities which will

  • increase social mobility by enabling more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter higher education
  • make greater progress in extending fair access for applicants of the highest ability to the most selective higher education institutions
  • continue to make progress in widening participation in higher education at large, attracting a higher proportion of students from under-represented groups.