Invitation to tender: Overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) wish to place a contract for a principal investigator (PI) to undertake research and produce guidance regarding the targeting of disadvantaged and under-represented pupils from different ethnic groups through access, student success and progression activities. This is in order to improve OFFA and the sector’s understanding of the challenges associated with this work, and provide practical solutions as to how these challenges might be overcome across the student lifecycle. 

The contract is for: 

  • reviewing current practice across the sector and identifying examples of effective practice 
  • carrying out in depth analysis of case studies identified from the sector review to champion examples of effective practice in the targeting of students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds 
  • identifying the key challenges institutions are facing in relation to this work and collating this in a final report 
  • producing a written piece of practical guidance for the sector on how to effectively target students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds, which will: 
    • identify the key challenges institutions face in targeting their access, student success and progression activities at students of different ethnicities 
    • develop possible solutions to these challenges 
    • demonstrate the benefits to students and institutions in effective targeting of access, student success and progression activities.

The long term goal of this project is to both challenge and support the sector to do more to address the differences in participation, outcomes and progression that persist between students from different ethnic backgrounds that can be masked by the overarching label of “Black and minority ethnic (BME)”. 

Depending on the allocation of future funding, OFFA aims to develop a second phase of this project in which the developed methodology is piloted in institutions.

For further information and to tender for this contract, please see HEFCE’s electronic tendering site