University launches new plans to forge ahead in widening participation

The University has launched its new five-year Access and Participation Plan (APP) after receiving approval from universities regulator the Office for Students (Ofs).

The Plan builds on the University’s long-standing civic mission to serve the local Liverpool City Region community and contribute towards widening participation to Higher Education nationally.

Currently, the University is first in the prestigious Russell Group of universities for the percentage of students entering Higher Education from those communities where entry to Higher Education is in the lowest 20% nationally (termed low participation neighbourhoods).

At the heart of the Plan is a renewed drive to support students from underrepresented groups (e.g. those from lower socio-economic backgrounds) to achieve a place at the University of Liverpool, to help them succeed while they are here, and to enable them to go onto higher level study and/or a fulfilling career.

Developed by representatives across the University, including academics, students and professional services staff, the Plan sets out how the institution will go further to close any significant gaps in access and widen participation. In addition, the Plan commits to significantly build on existing work to reduce gaps in continuation and degree outcomes between key underrepresented groups within the institution. There is also a continued commitment to target financial support to succeed in Higher Education at those students most in need.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool, said: “At the University of Liverpool we have a long-standing track record of improving the social mobility of our students by enabling access to and participation in Higher Education.

“The University’s success is rooted in creating opportunities for all our students, and we are proud of our reputation as one of the most successful Russell Group universities for widening participation.

“However, to fully contribute to social mobility nationally, we will need to build on this reputation and have used the development of our Access and Participation Plan to think carefully about the best way to ensure that our University is a welcoming and supportive place for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

“Our overarching strategic APP mission is to improve access and participation outcomes for key groups of underrepresented students. To bring this mission to life, we have summarised it as: “Providing opportunities and nurturing talent”.

“We look forward to working with the Office for Students, government and our wider alumni ,supporter and community networks to achieve this ambition.”

The full plan can be found here.

For further information about Access and Participation Plans, please visit the Office for Students website.