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Widening Participation in Higher Education 2021

Widening Participation in Higher Education 2021

May 18, 2021


According to the latest statistics from the Department of Education, the gap between the number of rich and poor students attending university has widened to its largest in 12 years. The inequality between the two groups now stands at 18.8%. 

Black pupils are still the least likely ethnic group to progress into higher tariff universities at 8.8% in 2018/19, although progression rates have risen for other ethnic groups. 

There are also significant regional differences across England in the likelihood of getting university places.  However, there has been an overall rise in demand for higher education during the coronavirus pandemic and a record number of 18-year olds have been accepted into university. 

Agenda Content and Learning Outcomes*

  • Explore methods of engaging underrepresented and disadvantaged groups during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Analyse techniques to combat low aspiration, ‘under-matching’ and unfairness and improve access to higher education for disadvantaged students
  • Hear of the latest reforms in the admissions process in order to close the gap for university acceptance between the most advantaged and disadvantaged areas
  • Understand how embed good practices and introduce vital regulatory incentives to support institutional transformation and improve access to higher education for disadvantaged groups
  • Assess the value and efficacy of interventions and which have been the most successful in increasing participation for underrepresented students
  • Develop innovative methods to tackle barriers to access and success and become a leading institution for social mobility
  • Learn how digital technologies can aid in student recruitment, increase inclusivity and facilitate the development of accessible learning institutions

Benefits of Attending

  • Meet other like-minded professionals and develop new, beneficial connections
  • Through the learning opportunities and sharing of best practice, you will be able to implement improvements in your workplace
  • Impact the wider agenda and be part of future planning
  • Be part of organisations that continue to evolve, improve and innovate
  • Learn how to make the best use of key products and services that can help transform your organisational capabilities


This event brings together Government and the wider public sector, academia and senior leaders from across the higher education sector to hear the latest policy updates across the industry and address the challenges facing the sector in these unprecedented times.

Additional Information

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Click here for further information on The Institute of Government & Public Policy.

*Agenda subject to change.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021