Supporting under-represented students to access and succeed in higher education

20 December 2019

Russell Group universities work hard to support under-represented students to access and succeed in higher education. We want students to be able to realise their potential regardless of their background or other circumstances. 

Our policy paper ‘Supporting under-represented students to access and succeed in higher education’ contains:

  • An outline of how Russell Group universities are making progress in widening access, noting recent increases of disadvantaged and under-represented students attending university and completing degree courses. 

  • How universities can and must work together with the higher education sector, schools, Government departments and agencies to tackle disadvantage and make progress on social mobility.

  • The value and earning potential offered of a Russell Group university degree, that we want all students to have an equal opportunity to obtain.

  • How universities collaborate to help under-represented students in their regions, and examples of initiatives members can and have taken, from mentorship and school engagement, to platforms such as Advancing Access.

  • Tailored approaches that recognise the heterogeneous nature of under-represented groups, highlighting programmes that support, for instance, care-leavers, black students, and white-working class boys.

  • How universities can support students on-campus and after graduation, such as with bursaries, support for further study and employability workshops.

  • How regulation and national strategies have a key role in diversifying the student cohort, and a call for a new national strategy.

Read the full policy paper here:

Supporting under-represented students (December 2019)


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