Working in Partnership: enabling social mobility in higher education


A new Universities UK (UUK) report released this week, ‘Working in Partnership: enabling social mobility in higher education’, has made a series of recommendations for higher education providers, schools, colleges and employers to improve social mobility in higher education in England.

The Social Mobility Advisory Group was set up in October 2015, at the request of Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, with the aim of identifying practical ways to address inequality in higher education.

The Advisory Group has considered the evidence and drawn together recommendations as to ways forward, acknowledging that there will be no simple solutions to embedded social inequality that passes from generation to generation. No one organisation or sector can resolve such deep-rooted inequalities. Instead, the extensive work that universities have been carrying out over many years needs to be built on, and collaborations and partnerships extended. Change will be incremental.

Some consistent key themes have emerged from the group's work, and are highlighted in the report: the need for a rigorously evidence-based approach to social mobility; the importance of evaluation to inform and shape future work; the need to move away from the perception that people only have one chance for university study, at the age of 18; and that sustained change can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership between universities, schools, colleges and employers.

These are complex issues and they will affect different higher education providers in different ways. Higher Education providers in the UK are profoundly diverse, and any meaningful response will need to reflect the individual university’s geographical location and circumstances.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK who chaired the advisory group, will be speaking about the report and findings at the 9 November Sixth Annual Access to Higher Education and Student Success at Woburn House, London together with a panel representing the different sectors on the Advisory Group, on 9th November 2016:

The full report is featured below and attached...


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