The Office for Fair Access closed at the end of 31 March 2018 and responsibility for higher education access regulation transferred to the Office for Students

Aims and objectives

Our strategic aims

Strat plan coverOFFA’s aims as an organisation are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

National strategy for access and student success

natstrat coverOur 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).

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