Ensuring Scotland’s post-16 education system is equitable and accessible for all is a priority for the entire sector. In light of this priority policy area, Advance HE’s (previously Equality Challenge Unit) Attracting Diversity project ran from 2015-18, following an initial pilot year in 2014-15. Twenty-one Scottish colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs) were supported over this three year period to research, design and test initiatives to address under-representation and inequality in student access and recruitment. The aim of Attracting Diversity was to build the capacity of the college and university sectors to undertake positive action initiatives, as provided for under s158 of the Equality Act 2010, to make progress in addressing systemic barriers for protected characteristic groups to access further and higher education.
This end of project report provides an overview of the Attracting Diversity project and summarises the learning from each institutional project. We hope this provides rich learning for the sector to inform future practice in relation to equality in student access and widening participation.