View all news

Ways to improve higher education access and support for disadvantaged pupils proposed by Prof Sally Thomas

15 March 2019

On 12 March 2019, Prof Sally Thomas presented the findings of the “Value Added in Higher Education” project at the Office for Students National Conference on Learning Gain held in Birmingham.

The conference was attended by 80+ participants including Higher Education practitioners and policy makers involved in Office for Students Learning Gain projects.

In her presentation Prof Sally Thomas described the results of an analysis of degree outcomes from around 1 million undergraduate students who started in a UK university 2007-2011, matched to their previous attainment at A-level, GCSE and Key Stage 2, as well as other demographic information. The findings showed after controlling for prior attainment, some students typically performed less well than other students. This included those who were male, entitled to free school meals , aged 17-18 years on entry, with lowest socio-economic status, parents not university educated, disabled, Black and Minority ethnicity or privately educated. Statistically significant differences were also found in the probability of obtaining a 2.1 or higher degree between UK universities as well as across OfS academic subject areas.

Prof Thomas launched the PolicyBristol Policy report summarising the findings and providing food for thought via five implications for HE practitioners and policy makers to promote better use of data and additional support for disadvantaged and other widening participation students in Higher Education.

Further information can also be found on the Office for Students Learning Gain website.

Edit this page