Aims and objectives
Our strategic aims
OFFA’s aims as an organisation are:
- To increase the proportion of learners from under-represented and disadvantaged groups who enter, succeed in and are well prepared to progress from higher education to employment or postgraduate study.
- To make faster progress in improving access to the most selective higher education institutions by students from under-represented and disadvantaged groups.
These aims, which are set out in our strategic plan, reflect our belief that everyone who has the potential and ambition to succeed in higher education should have equal opportunity and support to do so, regardless of background, family income or disability. There is still a long way to go before this is reality, despite the welcome progress that has been made in widening access since 2004, when OFFA was created. (To find out more about this, see our quick facts about current higher education participation in England.)
We take a ‘student lifecycle’ approach
In all our work, we take a ‘student lifecycle’ approach – in short, we take the view that fair access is only meaningful if disadvantaged students are supported not only to get into university or college but also to achieve to their full potential and to prepare for the next chapter after graduation.
Our strategic plan includes more information about our aims and objectives, and how we measure our performance.
Our work contributes to the national strategy for access and student success that OFFA and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) developed in response to a request from Ministers.
The national strategy’s vision is that all those with the potential to benefit from higher education have equal opportunity to participate and succeed, on a course and in an institution that best fit their potential, needs and ambitions for employment or further study.
You can read a brief summary of the national strategy’s vision, approach and key actions (PDF).
Or follow the links below for:
- The full national strategy for access and student success (download from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website)
- National strategy supporting evidence – full list of links
- The guidance note OFFA issued to universities and colleges about the strategy
- The press release we and HEFCE issued jointly following publication of the strategy by the Government
- History of the national strategy – how and why it was developed.