A project by Advance HE to attract and increase student diversity in Scotland has brought together resources and advice to better target under-represented groups in higher education.
Attracting Diversity supported 21 Scottish colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs) to develop approaches to student access and recruitment to address disadvantage and inequality. Over a three-year period, providers researched, designed and tested initiatives to address under-representation, with a focus on increasing access for protected characteristic groups.
The end of project report published today (14 May) summarises the learning experiences which aim to inform future practice.
Kay Steven, Advance HE Programme Advisor, and co-author of the end of project report said:
Ensuring Scotland’s further and higher education system is equitable and accessible for all is a priority for the entire sector. However, it can be challenging to translate high-level commitments about widening participation into effective practice with measurable outcomes.
Our report offers the sector insights into developing initiatives and positive action interventions which improve equality in student access and recruitment across subject areas and protected characteristics. These are ongoing and long-term and will continue to be monitored and evaluated to assess their potential and impact on future practice.
We hope that the learning and reflections in this report support the sector to develop and embed initiatives that will improve equality of access to learning for all.”
Kay Steven, Advance HE Programme Advisor, and co-author of the end of project report
Attracting Diversity: End of Project Report recommends five key areas that colleges and HEIs should consider when exploring positive action interventions to ensure equality in student recruitment and access:
- Creating the conditions for success through leadership and cross-departmental collaboration.
- Accessing and assessing data and research to understand the barriers to, and experiences of, under-represented groups.
- Exploring, developing and implementing positive action initiatives to advance equality in student access.
- Formative and summative evaluation used to test if interventions are meeting outcomes and having impact.
- Applying and sharing learning through collaborative efforts across HEIs to ensure future good practice
Read the full report here