Commenting on the Office for Students announcement that 31 of 41 top Universities have been put on “enhanced monitoring” following the publication of their access plans, Dr Luke Heselwood, Reform education lead, said:
“It is deeply concerning that three quarters of top Universities have been put on ‘special measures’ due to the commitments outlined in their plans to improve access and support for disadvantaged students.
“The OfS is right to require that elite universities produce and publish access plans, but these figures show a disconnect between ambition and reality.
“Universities cannot argue that this is a money issue. Reform research found that access spending reached £745 million in 2016-17. It is essential that this money is well spent.
“The OfS’ new Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes must also focus on how to achieve value for money, which will require detailed breakdown of how widening participation budgets are spent. Otherwise disadvantaged students and the taxpayer will continue to lose out.”
Covered by the Telegraph and the Independent.