Fair Access

Enhancing admission, retention and attainment of Widening Participation Students (WPS): longitudinal action research

CEMP researchers Julian McDougall and Isabella Rega are working with the Centre for Excellence on Learning on this systematic, multi-year research study, led by Bethan Collins, the findings of which enable BU and other similar institutions to enhance practice and outcomes related to fair access and widening participation.

We will produce digital outputs, with open access and a downloadable resource for other HEIs to apply the same methodology to research their implementation of Fair Access.

This proposal is intended to act as a “backbone” into which other smaller projects can fit. It is anticipated that future studentships and Fair Access Agreement (FAA) funded research will link to this backbone and this work may also enable related externally funded research, thus enabling larger overall impact.

This research is conducted jointly with students union’ colleagues as it is essential that the student voice and concerns are central to this research. Where possible, co-creation and co-production will be involved.

The initial widening participation “flags” that will be examined are:

  • Age (mature students)
  • Disability (broken down into type)
  • Ethnic origin
  • Gender
  • First in family to attend university
  • Socio-economic groups
  • Lower Participating Neighbourboods
  • Care Leavers