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

OFFA welcomes launch of social mobility action plan

Commenting on the publication today of Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential, the Government’s social mobility action plan, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said:

“I welcome this report, and the steps it proposes to increase social mobility. Improving access to higher education for people from disadvantaged backgrounds is one of the most important things we can do to create a more socially mobile society. Doing so is clearly good for the talented students that secure university places, but there are clear wider economic and societal benefits in ensuring that potential is not wasted.

“I welcome the recognition in the plan of the progress made in the last decade to improve fair access. Figures released by UCAS today show that greater rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds are entering higher education than ever before. However, we know that significant challenges remain – especially at those universities with the highest entrance requirements, where someone from the most advantaged background is 5.5 times more likely to secure a place than their peers from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“This challenge will only be overcome by firm commitment from universities, working in close partnership with schools, communities, employers and Government. Talent is found across the country – from council estate to country estate – and ensuring that your postcode doesn’t act as a barrier to your potential must remain a top priority for the Government.”


For further information contact Sean Beynon (Head of Communications) at OFFA on 0117 931 7171 or