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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Home Publication Access, retention and success: aligning widening participation and equality strategies

Access, retention and success: aligning widening participation and equality strategies

Bringing together widening participation and equality strategies to support students

Bringing together work on widening participation and equality and diversity into a coordinated strategy can increase the impact of the work, improve outcomes for students and result in a better use of resources.

Despite these advantages, and commonalities between the two agendas, widening participation activities and equality and diversity functions don’t tend to be integrated.

This report outlines findings of ECU research undertaken by the Open University in Scotland and includes examples from higher education institutions, highlights the factors that enable alignment of the two areas and presents recommendations for the sector.

Areas covered include:

  • The drivers for and benefits of aligning widening participation with equality and diversity strategies
  • Examples of alignment between widening participation and protected characteristics: age, disability, race and sex
  • Strategies to align the agendas
  • Recommendations