Commenting on today’s announcement by Universities and Skills Minister David Willetts that funding for the Aimhigher programme is to end in July 2011, Sir Martin Harris, Director of Fair Access, said: “Aimhigher has played a significant role in establishing best practice and developing effective collaborative partnerships and it will be important that the lessons it has learnt are not lost following its demise.
“Universities clearly perceive a benefit in working closely together so that they do not duplicate one another’s efforts and will want to consider how they can continue to collaborate with local schools, colleges and communities to raise aspirations among those from a disadvantaged background.”
Notes to editors
- Aimhigher is a national programme that aims to widen participation in higher education by raising aspirations and developing the abilities of young people from under-represented communities. It includes taster days, masterclasses, visits to universities and one-to-one mentoring programmes. For more information on Aimhigher, see: www.hefce.ac.uk/widen/aimhigh/
- The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is an independent, non-departmental public body established under the Higher Education Act 2004 to help promote and safeguard fair access to higher education. Our main remit is to regulate the charging of higher tuition fees by English universities and colleges offering full-time undergraduate higher education courses. As a condition of charging higher fees, institutions must have an ‘access agreement’ approved by OFFA setting out their bursary provision for students from low-income backgrounds and any additional outreach work. It is therefore reasonable to describe us as the ‘fair access regulator’ or the ‘fees and bursaries regulator’.
- For more about OFFA, please see our website www.offa.org.uk, particularly the Quick Facts and FAQ in the Press section.
- For further information, contact Zita Adamson, Communications Manager at OFFA, on 0117 931 7272 or 0117 931 7171.