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

Consulting with students

We strongly encourage you to consult students (including student unions or associations) in the design, implementation and evaluation of your access agreement and in particular, to involve students at an early stage when drawing up your plans for access, student success, progression and financial support.

You may also wish to consider where there are opportunities to involve students in the implementation of access agreements and in monitoring performance. Where possible you should include in your access agreement detail of any evidence you have. For example, your student union might provide a statement as to the nature of consultations or comment on your access agreement, or you could provide the outcomes of surveys/focus groups or details of how students are represented on institutional committees, boards or networks.

You should highlight where students or student unions have been involved in the design of financial support packages or their implementation. For example, some student unions run IAG sessions or help to explain, by all appropriate means, the available support packages to ensure maximum take up from eligible students.

We encourage student unions to engage fully in the development and implementation of the access agreement and to continue to provide feedback to us on their experiences. We would be happy to consider this feedback alongside the access agreement. Institutions may wish to publish a statement from their student union alongside their agreement – for example, in an annex.