Higher & Further Education Minister Michelle Donelan gave a speech at a Times Higher Education event yesterday.

She took that opportunity to announce a new approach to Access and Participation. Here are the 4 key points from her speech:

1. Shift from intakes to outcomes

  • New national targets on Access and Participation and all universities to revise and resubmit their Access Plans.
  • Plans need to focus on quality, attainment & graduate employment.
  • Universities with “poor outcomes” will have to set ambitious targets for reducing drop-out rates and improving progression to graduate employment.

2. Work with FE and schools & provide flexible routes

  • Every university will be expected to work with schools and FE in their area to improve attainment.
  • They will be expected to provide greater flexibility of access such as part-time courses.
  • There must be targets to increase the proportion of students on higher and degree apprenticeships, Level 4 and 5 courses.

3. Transparency of reporting for students, parents & teachers

  • Access plans to be learner-focused and accessible for a student, parent or teacher.
  • “More work also needs to be done on transparency so that students can make really informed choices.”

The Halpin team can help you to review your Access and Participation activities, your partnerships with Further Education and schools, your teaching pathways and your targets for attainment and graduate employment. We can help you to set them out in a plan which meets OfS expectations and can be shared with learners, parents and teachers.