Understanding the impact of outreach for young people who are the first in their family to go to higher education
What has happened so far?
Understanding current evaluation practice
In August 2016 OFFA commissioned a team led by Dr Claire Crawford and Professor Robin Naylor from the University of Warwick to investigate how universities and colleges evaluate their outreach schemes, working in partnership with a group of universities and other key sector bodies.
Drawing on survey data collected from universities with an access agreement, along with interviews with widening participation staff in eight institutions, the team have developed proposed standards of evaluation practice which are designed to be usable across diverse institutions within a changing higher education landscape.
Dr Claire Crawford, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Warwick and Research Fellow, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Deputy Principal Investigator
Professor Robin Naylor, Professor of Economics, University of Warwick
Dr Siobhan Dytham, Research Fellow in the Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick
Dr Sally Hancock, Lecturer in Education, University of York
Dr Emma Uprichard, Reader, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick
Paul Blagburn, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, University of Warwick
Professor Christina Hughes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, Sheffield Hallam University
What is happening now?
Testing the standards of evaluation practice in different contexts
The proposed standards of evaluation practice developed in the first phase of this project now need to be tested by institutions and third party organisations who offer outreach schemes to ensure they can be applied across a variety of contexts.
OFFA has commissioned a collaborative project, led by a team from the University of Exeter, to carry out this pilot test in a range of different case study sites. Working with a number of partners, the research team is investigating how the standards can be applied in different contexts. The work involves:
- a series of workshops to reflect on the standards, and identify and implement evaluation methodologies for selected outreach interventions
- detailed work between partners and the research team to analyse the evaluation data, drawing on qualitative and quantitative approaches
- the development of conclusions and recommendations for practice, backed up by practical case study examples.
Professor Debra Myhill, Pro-Vice-Chancellor: College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter
Associate Professor Anna Mountford-Zimdars, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Widening Participation Research and Practice, University of Exeter
Dr Pallavi Amitava Banerjee, Lecturer in Education, University of Exeter
Joanne Moore, Social Researcher, Aimhigher Research and Consultancy Network
University of Liverpool
University of Plymouth
Royal Northern College of Music
Third sector partners
The Access Project
The Sutton Trust
What will happen next?
After OFFA closes on 31 March 2018, this project will transfer to the Office for Students which will continue to support the work as described above.
Want more information?
Contact Richard Shiner, Head of Evidence and Effective Practice (0117 931 7171, email@example.com)