The national strategy for access and student success

Since Government reforms on the cost and terms of tuition fees, there has been extra concern to gain a better understanding of differentials in student retention and academic achievement. These focus in particular on students’ learner characteristics and background including pre-university education, place of residence, age, ethnicity and socio-economic status. These issues are concerns for the whole higher education (HE) sector.

Guidance from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) encourages HEIs to focus the following:

  • Improving student retention, reducing the number of students that withdraw early from HE.
  • Narrowing the gap between the retention rates of the most advantaged and most disadvantaged groups.
  • Improving outcomes for different student groups by addressing the unexplained differences in attainment.