Fair Access Research publication: Troubling ideas

festival of learning 2 (2)

Bournemouth University is undertaking a large collaborative research study exploring issues of access to higher education. We are pleased to announce that members of the Fair Access Research project from BU and the University of Liverpool have had an article published in the influential Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.

We explored how universities and colleges use research as part of their plans to widen participation and open up higher education to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.  They found that while national policy is leading to more institutions mentioning research as part of their Access Agreements; it tends to be in the context of justifying spending rather than leading to significant behaviour change.

The most recent strategic guidance from the Office for Fair Access emphasised the importance of building a community of practice across institutions, with practitioners and academics working and learning together to understand effective practice and the impact of interventions.

It is hoped that when the 2017-18 access agreements are published over the coming months we see a sector engaging much more with research in order to transform thinking, practice and the sector as a whole.

For more information of this paper email Alex Wardrop (awardrop@bournemouth.ac.uk). For more information about the Fair Access Research project email Vanessa Heaslip (vheaslip@bournemouth.ac.uk) and Clive Hunt (chunt@bournemouth.ac.uk)