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Evaluation of Supported Progression (SP) schemes offered by Durham University

Siddiqui, N.; Gorard, S.; Boliver, V.

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Abstract

Durham University’s Supported Progression (SP) programme aims to help increase the socioeconomic diversity of Durham’s undergraduate population. SP is a combination of interventions for widening access initiatives providing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with an alternative means of demonstrating their ability to succeed at the university, and offering financial support to those subsequently admitted to the university under the SP scheme. The SP programme has been running for a number of years now, and in its OFFA Access Agreement the University has recently committed to significantly expanding the number of participants on the programme. There has been some internal assessment of the extent to which the programme succeeds in achieving its aims, and the University has reason to believe that the programme is being effective. But the programme has yet to be fully evaluated. OFFA is increasingly calling for widening participation interventions to be evaluated more robustly in order to test and improve their effectiveness. OFFA has recently published a guidance document on evaluation of widening participation and outreach activities which sets out three levels of evaluation practice (Crawford et al. 2017). At the second level OFFA recommends HE institutions use existing student records to investigate the university outcomes of students involved in outreach activities or widening access initiatives. A level two evaluation is generally less robust than a large scale randomised control trial. However, it is cost-effective in using secondary official datasets, and provides baseline information as a pilot evaluation of widening access initiatives. This is what this paper reports for Durham University.

Citation

Siddiqui, N., Gorard, S., & Boliver, V. (2023). Evaluation of Supported Progression (SP) schemes offered by Durham University

Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jun 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 2, 2023

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