School matters! Teachers count! Ensure your work with schools and teachers is informed and focused
  • October 12, 2018

School matters! Teachers count! Ensure your work with schools and teachers is informed and focused

Teachers as influencers of university ambition - a collaborative research project for widening participation teams

Following on from our recent collaboration focused on the university ambitions of 6 to 18-year olds, we are now turning our attention to the role of teachers as influencers of children and young people’s university aspirations. We know, from our previous study, that once young people go to secondary school, teachers replace parents as the biggest single influencer of their university ambition.

Through our past research we have found levels of university aspiration, academic self-concept (believing you're clever), and positive school experiences  are all influenced by the type of schools children and young people attend suggesting an underlying socio-economic influence.* The word cloud below shows how 6 to 18-year olds describe young people that go to university*:

* Taken from our study University Futures study “The road to university from 6 to 18”.

University Futures 3 - Teachers as Influencers

In the third instalment of our University Futures series, we are focusing on teachers and the important role they have in supporting students to both develop and realise their university aspirations. This new study will engage 500 teachers to answer key questions such as:

  • What do teachers know about university life today?
  • Who do teachers think will go to university?
  • How do teachers seek to influence pupils from Widening Participation backgrounds?
  • What do teachers need from you?
  • What do teachers think works best for their Widening Participation pupils?

Summary of the research process and timings

For this collaboration, we will:

  • Start the process with a workshop with all our collaborating partners 
  • Conduct a full literature review
  • Design the questionnaire and circulate it for your comment and approval
  • Conduct a national survey of 500 teachers from across the UK
  • Facilitate a national on-line qualitative community with teachers
  • Undertake detailed analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data
  • Run a concluding collaborative workshop to discuss the results and share action plans.

In addition, you will receive:

  1. A full research report to be used by your team that contains the literature review, methodology, findings and our independent recommendations
  2. A PowerPoint summary, to help you distribute the findings across your university
  3. A short summary paper to be shared with colleagues across the sector, recognising your involvement as a project partner.

Timing overview

The project will kick-off with a workshop in mid-November and the full report delivered by April 2019.

Why collaborate?

Our ‘University Futures’ series, brings institutions together to work on common challenges. The model means individual clients have access to tailored strategic research studies, whilst also participating and building communities of practice. The collaborations offer opportunities for shared learning and are leading to practical action and exciting innovations.

What does it cost?

Taking part in the collaboration costs just £4,950 (excl. VAT), considerably less than a bespoke project with the added benefit of working with other universities.

Join or find out more

If you'd like to join, or want to know more please contact Paul Williams on 0161 503 5760 or