Access agreement decisions for 2016-17: universities set themselves stretching new targets

Universities and college have set themselves challenging new targets to make further and faster progress on fair access to higher education. The new targets, agreed with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), form part of the 183 access agreements approved today, and will help meet a Government ambition to double the rate of students from disadvantaged background entering higher education.

Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said:

“The access agreements I have approved toady show that universities and colleges are setting stretching and ambitious targets to attract students from disadvantaged areas and then support them through their studies”.

“I am enormously heartened to see the significant level of ambition in this set of access agreements. By making progress towards their own fair access challenges, universities and colleges will contribute to the Government’s national fair access goals. The Prime Minister and Minister for Universities have set a goal to double the rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2020, and these agreements send a clear message that universities are ready to do the hard work to make this target a reality.

“The work and ambition univerisites and colleges have committed to today will transform lives. The outreach work universities have planned will open the door to higher education for people who might otherwise have thought it was not for them. The people that universities work with now will go on to be the doctors, business leaders and engineers of the future”.

Rachel Ellis-Jones, Dean of Higher Education at Reaseheath College, said:

“The access agreement for 2016-17 approved by OFFA shows the continued commitment by Reaseheath College to promote higher education to students from disadvantaged areas and groups. This access agreement demonstrates a renewed focus on supporting students while they are with us with an additional financial support package aimed to ensure progression and success”.