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Impact Report


strong Partnership to promote

widening participation, fair

access and social mobility. We

were thrilled to be recognised

early on with receipt of the

Times Higher Education Award

for Widening Participation in

2011 and since then have gone

from strength to strength, with

four new research intensive

universities (RIUs) joining us and

the number of ‘most able, least

likely’ students we work with

increasing each year.

The May 2016 White Paper

‘Success as a Knowledge

Economy’ emphasised a

widening participation approach

which covers the whole higher

education (HE) lifecycle for

disadvantaged students. The

Partnership’s agreement to

continue working together to

support talented young people

until at least 2019 highlights the

way in which RO is seen as a

key tool for achieving progress

towards the government’s

aims for retention, progression

and employability for widening

participation students by

these leading institutions. RO

is making a contribution to

government ambitions to double

the proportion of students from

disadvantaged backgrounds

progressing to HE and for

increasing the participation of

specific groups, for example

black and minority ethnic groups

and white males from lower

socio-economic groups.

The Partnership will use the next

stage of collaboration not only

to address the government’s

targets but, crucially, offer RO

students an experience which

raises their awareness of RIUs

and gives them space to make

informed choices, increase their

confidence in their abilities and

prepares them to be successful

in their higher education studies

and beyond.

Should you wish to know more

about anything contained in this

report, please contact the RO

Central Team at

RO students judge

the programme as a

source of beneficial

information, advice

and guidance, which

positively assists

their transition to



6 Hancock, S., Wakeling, P., and Ewart, A. (2016) Evaluation of the Realising Opportunities Programme:

Report for the Realising Opportunities Partnership. York: University of York, Department of Education.