ARC Network have joined with colleagues from Kings College London and The University of Manchester to publish a new article entitled ‘What can universities do to support all of their students to progress successfully throughout their time at university?’ The article reviews the findings from a UK nationwide project on the causes of differences in student outcomes in higher education. The project was commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and reported in July 2015. The team found that universities with an embedded, institution-wide approach that engaged senior managers, academic staff, professional service staff and students as stakeholders and agents in the differential outcomes agenda were most promising in decreasing progression gaps. Universities use targeted and universal interventions to affect change. Initiatives that tackle assessment and the content and meaning of curricula are a promising stream of interventions. Overall, more evaluations on what works and sharing of practice will further enable the sector to support all higher education students in reaching their academic potential. To access this article click here.
At the end of 2016, Southern Universities Network commissioned two research projects which sought to examine the disadvantage experienced by white working class males in relation to their progression into higher education. The pre-entry study, undertaken by ARC Network and co-ordinated by Southampton Solent University, explored the perceptions, barriers and enablers to HE progression from the perspective of white working class learners in schools and colleges across the city of Southampton. Post-entry research, undertaken by the University of Portsmouth, explored the participation of white working class men within an institutional context, with a particular focus on examining higher education entry and aspirations of current HE learners. The study offers a unique understanding of white working class males across the both pre and post entry phase and it is hoped that the research will support SUN members in planning and developing both institutional and collaborative widening participation programmes, including the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). To access the research click here.
ARC Network are to be delighted to be working with Southern Universities Network on a research project examining the perceptions of white British working class young men. The research project, commissioned in October 2016, seeks to establish what young men in Southampton think about Higher Education as an option. In addition, the study will examine what parents think and feel about their son’s progression in education and work. Alongside qualitative research the ARC Network team will examine a range of data to help the network understand local patterns of progression. The research comes at a time when there is increased concern about the differential rates in HE progression between learner groups and it is hoped that the research will support SUN partner organisations to plan provision as part of the forthcoming national collaborative outreach programme (NCOP). The research will be launched at the network’s conference in December 2016. To know more about the study contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
ARC Network have been working with Greater Manchester Higher over the last 6 months on the development of an exciting new data tool. The bespoke tool, built for GM Higher partners, brings together a host of data about local schools and colleges in order to help organisations to better target their outreach provision. Users can access a range of information about the profile of learners within an institution as well as attainment and progression data. The tool is built using data from a range of publicly available sources but pulls this together in a single place, making it easier for outreach practitioners to use in their day to day work. It is hoped that the tool will allow Greater Manchester Higher to ensure that new programmes of work are focused at the learners and institutions where there is greatest need. To hear more about how the tool was developed contact us on email@example.com
ARC Network has been working with the Social Partnerships Network, led by the Open University to help create a new website for adults interested in part time learning. The site has been created as a result of a national HEFCE funded project. The project, which is part of the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach, has been established to help increase the number of adults returning to education. Eventually it is hoped that some of these learners will go on to study for higher level qualifications at university or college. The website provides information about all learning options and includes a useful Advise Me tool to get adults thinking about the right course for them. In addition to the site members of the Network have created free online courses that are open to adults across the country. The courses are designed to be fun and should take learners a total of 15 hours to complete.
The site can be found at www.pearl.ac.uk and for more information about the free online courses visit www.open.edu/openlearnworks/spn-courses.
Research examining recruitment and selection decisions in life sciences organisations across the UK has recently been undertaken by ARC Network on behalf of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. The aim is to better understand the factors that help –or hinder – social mobility in the life sciences sector.
The report, due for completion in May 2016 will make recommendations for employers and others in relation to the design, development and evaluation of activities to support socially diverse recruitment and progression.
We are now offering employers and other interested parties an opportunity to discuss emerging findings and shape the report’s final conclusions. You can join the discussion online at either 11am-11.45am or 1.30pm – 2.15pm on Thursday 28th April.
UK Life sciences employers in both the public and private sector are welcome to take part. Researchers are interested in the views of both large and small organisations whether you are a recruitment specialist, a small business owner or a university academic. University careers advisers, recruitment consultants and sector bodies are also warmly invited to take part.
Read more by downloading the Life Sciences Social Mobility Research Forum Event details or
To register please SIGN UP HERE.
HEFCE have recently announced funding and support for a new National Collaborative Outreach Programme. The programme, which will run from 2016-17 to 2019-20, will provide financial resources for consortia of HE providers, schools, colleges and other stakeholders to deliver targeted programmes of collaborative outreach in specific local areas where HE participation is low overall and lower than expected given GCSE attainment levels. The programme will support the government’s targets to double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020, to increase by 20 percent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups and to address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE. HEFCE are holding events across in England for interested consortia and bids for funding must be complete by 1st July 2016.
For more information about the programme go to http://www.hefce.ac.uk/sas/ncop/
ARC Network are delighted to be working with The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on a new study examining social mobility in the life sciences sector. The study will work with employers, HE careers services and other sector bodies to examine the barriers and enablers to people from low socio economic groups entering high level jobs in the life sciences industries. Research will include in-depth case studies with employers from across the UK. As part of the study employers will be invited to hear about the emerging findings as part of a web based discussion group which will be held on 28th April 2016. For more information about the project or if you are an employer wishing to engage in the study email us firstname.lastname@example.org
This month sees the launch of the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO). The Networks, managed by HEFCE and funded by BIS, will deliver a nationally co-ordinated approach to working with schools, universities and colleges to help people access higher education. Funding of £22 million is provided for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The remaining £3 million from the £25 million allocated will fund the rolling-out of the Higher Education Access Tracker, a sector-owned service which enables institutions to track learners through the education system and measure the success of their interventions.
Thirty-five local networks will cover the whole of England. Each network will appoint a single point of contact to help teachers and advisers find out about higher education outreach activity in their area and to provide general advice about progression into higher education. The local networks will host web-sites with information about outreach activity, and signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for higher education. Three more networks will offer advice and support to specific groups of students at national level, including older learners wishing to continue or return to study and care leavers. HEFCE has launched a web page which will enable schools and colleges to find their local network. Go to http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/wp/current/nnco/netinfo/
The ARC Network team are delighted to be joining forces with Dr Anna Mountford-Zimdars, from Kings College London, to undertake a UCAS commissioned review. The study will examine the impact of the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) programme and will seek to identify future demand for SPA services. The review will hear from key stakeholders from across the school, college and HE sector and will include a large scale survey of HE providers. The findings, due to be reported in February 2015, will be presented to the UCAS board and to the SPA Steering Group. It is hoped that the review will inform decisions about the possible direction of future travel for the SPA programme.