HEFCW Widening Access to Higher Education Evaluation Guidance

Gareth Rees, Chris Taylor, Ceryn Evans, Caroline Wright

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The purpose of this guidance is to provide advice to universities and
widening access practitioners about how to evaluate their widening access
strategies and practices. It is important to note that this can include a wide
range of initiatives ranging from university policies (such as contextualized
admissions policy), to departmental activities with school subject teachers,
to short-term interventions with targeted groups (such as peer mentoring
or summer universities). Just as no initiative is the same then no two
evaluations are likely to be the same. Consequently it is very difficult to
be prescriptive about how such initiatives should be evaluated. Instead
practitioners should consider the key characteristics of good evaluation
when undertaking their own evaluation.

This guidance is supplementary to the HEFCE evaluation toolkit for
practitioners (3rd Edition 2014). However, this guidance focuses more on the
evaluation design rather than how to conduct an evaluation. In this guidance
we set out four steps practitioners should consider when preparing to evaluate
widening access activities:

1. Outline a policy logic model
2. Decide the aims of the evaluation
3. Design the evaluation
4. The use of administrative data
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


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