Research into widening participation

The University of Manchester is committed to researching widening participation and contributing to sector wide initiatives that aim to make access to higher education fairer.

Contextual Data Research

The University is a member of the Fair Education Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 UK organisations from business, third sector and education.  We recently supported the FEA commissioned report into the use of contextual data in admissions, which aimed to shine a light on how contextual data is used at highly selective universities, and to make recommendations on how to ensure that institutions have access to and use contextual data in ways that will make access to higher education in the UK fairer.

The report was launched in July 2018 and you can read an overview of the report or explore the research data in more detail.

Manchester Institute of Education

Dr Steve Jones from the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) has carried out research looking at how access programmes help students from widening participation backgrounds transition into higher education study. This research explores the concept of 'campus capital' and how pre-entry access programmes can help students from widening participation build this. 

Further research from Dr Jones has highlighed that the academic ability of students from state schools isn't always realised until higher education, supporting the case for contextual data to provide differential offers. 

Find out more about the institute’s wider education research.