Supporting Student Success in Widening Participation

The Office for Students has set ambitious targets to achieve equality of opportunity in Higher Education. Universities, colleges and other higher education institutions are setting, and reviewing, their own individual plans and targets to work towards during the next five years, both in terms of recruitment and attainment.

Alterline has developed two new solutions, focusing on Widening Participation, to meet these demands. Each will provide intelligence and insight across different stages of the student journey, enabling Universities to drive their activity, develop a competitive edge and increase their impact from recruitment and outreach right through to supporting student success.

Supporting Student Success Widening Participation

The second of our new solutions Student Life Pulse: Widening Participation will provide compelling evidence, on a repeating basis, about the lives, perceptions and experiences of under-represented groups of current students. Universities will be able use the national insight, and optional local insight, generated every two years, to:

Becoming a partner in the first year of the Pulse (2019/20) means you will help to shape the research design. At this stage, the research objectives include:

  • What is the student experience like for key under-represented groups? How might this be improved?
  • What about the lives and experiences of under-represented groups increases the likelihood of drop-out? How can this be mitigated?
  • What about the student experience is a barrier to higher attainment? How can this be improved?
  • What support/interventions are effective/ineffective from the student perspective in relation to retention and progress?
  • What other support could have an impact on retention and outcomes?

How will the Student Life Pulse: Widening Participation work?

The national element of the project will kick-off with a collaborative workshop in August/September 2019, bringing together participating universities. Fresh intelligence will be delivered through a strategic report based on new national quantitative research with 2,500 current University students from across the UK, plus qualitative research with 60 – 80 of those current students . The group of students consulted will include: students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, BAME students, mature students and students with disabilities.

In addition, you will have the option to add on both local qualitative and quantitative insight with your own under-represented students, at a time in the academic year which suits your needs.  Universities who add on a local option will also benefit from bench-marking of their insight against the national sample and other institutions in our widening participation community.

Alterline’s unique collaborative research model brings universities together to work on common challenges and build communities of innovative practice. By taking part you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Help shape the research design
  • Share ideas and build links with other institutions
  • Save time and resource with Alterline’s full-service research support
  • Gain detailed insights from the full strategic research report and easily implement actions from the practical recommendations
  • Easily share high level insights with your key stakeholders from summary documents and presentations.

How much does it cost?

Joining this collaboration means you will have access to the valuable insights and practical recommendations from the national insight for just £5,500 per year (+ VAT). Participation will be on a three year basis, which will include two national reports, best practice networking and annual action workshops. The local insight options can be added on from £8,500 (+ VAT), we will be able to provide you with a tailored quote following discussion of your needs.

The deadline for joining the project is the 31st July 2019. For more information click here to email Sharon Steele, Client Communities Manager, at or call 0161 503 5760.

You might also like to find out more about our companion solution to this one for Widening Participation in Recruitment.