Information for:

National strategy

What is the national strategy for access and student success?

During 2013, OFFA and the Higher Education Funding Council for England worked with higher education organisations and providers to develop a national strategy for access and student success, following a request from ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in May 2012 (see Correspondence between BIS Ministers, OFFA and HEFCE).

Our overarching aim in developing the strategy is to ensure that everyone with the potential to benefit from higher education has an equal opportunity to do so, regardless of background, age, ethnicity, disability or gender. The strategy will also help maximise the impact of effort and investment in widening participation, access and student success by universities, colleges, the government, HEFCE and other organisations. 

How was the strategy developed?

We consulted with the higher education sector and analysed evidence of what works best to widen participation and ensure student success, both in the UK and abroad. We presented our conclusions, and recommendations on where the sector should focus its efforts, to BIS ministers in October 2013.

How we involved the sector

We were keen to maximise sector input into the national strategy. We consulted with stakeholders and received evidence from practitioners (our call for evidence is now closed, but you can still read about it). There is also a LinkedIn online discussion group.

When will the strategy be published?

We expect BIS to publish the strategy in due course. In the meantime you can always see the latest information about it via this web page.

Timeline of what’s happening

Click on each link for more information:

Interim report submitted to ministers January 2013
Publication of interim report by BIS March 2013
Call for evidence March 2013 (now closed)
Practitioner discussion events April 2013 (now closed)
Research and analysis Ongoing
Roundtable discussions with stakeholders  Spring 2013
National strategy submitted to BIS September 2013
Publication of national strategy by BIS 2014
Aligning OFFA and HEFCE processes Ongoing