Skip to content.
HEA logo ADM logo

widening participation

Widening participation addresses the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between different social groups focusing on under-representation equity and social inclusion. Widening Participation is therefore concerned with ensuring equality of opportunity for all students.

Widening Participation developments, links and resources


Portfolio Advice Day Report 2008-9

The Portfolio Advice Day was an innovative project that started in 2006. It was designed to assist students from socio-economic and family backgrounds with no history of higher education participation to make the transition from tertiary to higher education.

This report evaluates the effectiveness of the delivery of the Portfolio Advice Day, identifies the nature of the support mechanism offered to students and academics, and generates a list of recommendations to ensure improvement.

Department of Education and Skills (DfES)

Download a PDF of the government's white paper:"The Future of Higher Education" and it's follow-up document on Widening Participation, published in April 2003 or visit the DfES website for more information.


The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is an independent, non departmental public body which aims to promote and safeguard fair access to higher education for under-represented groups in light of the introduction of variable tuition fees in 2006-07. OFFA is led by the Director of Fair Access.

Action on Access
Action on Access is the national co-ordination team appointed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) for Widening Participation and the 'Aim Higher' initiative. It works with further and higher education institutions and supports individual institutions with their widening participation strategies.

Action on Access has produced a booklet entitled 'Widening Participation, a Rough Guide for Higher Education Providers' to assist institutions join up their work around all aspects of Widening Participation.

Visit for a full list of the publications available.

FACE (The Forum for Access and Continuing Education)


Established in 1993, FACE is an active UK wide network for all those involved with Access, Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning. As a multi-sector practitioners network, FACE and its members are at the forefront of the challenges involved in providing learning opportunities for all. As an inclusive organisation FACE encourages collaboration and partnership whilst maintaining a member-driven voice on key issues for learners and providers.

GLAD (Group for Learning in Art & Design)
The impact of WP for Learning and Teaching in Art & Design 10th Glad 2003 conference report “At the Watershed: succeeding with 50%” (Published by Wild Conversations Press, Bristol ISBN 1-902595-05-X)

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Coucil for England)

Various information and resources can be accessed from the following webpage:

The Higher Education Academy

The HEA offers two briefing documents for general information:

Widening participation and Lifelong Learning. by Stella Parker (Aug 2003)

Widening Participation: Overview and Commentary
by David Jary and Rob Jones

University of Coventry

In partnership with the ADM-HEA, Coventry have developed an online staff development site which includes a Widening Participation component.

“It’s been so difficult for me to get here”

widening participation project, executive summary by Jackie McManus, UAL More...

art and design history resources

a series of resources available from the university of manchester, aimed at introducing students to the subject of art and design history More...

  • Page Navigation

Stop Press!