Widening participation - student opportunity

Through our widening participation activity we raise awareness, aspiration and achievement; supporting otherwise under-represented groups to successfully progress to higher education.

Our commitments

Plymouth University has a regional, national and international reputation for its widening participation (WP) work. Our commitment is reflected in the University's ambition, 'raising aspiration and driving engagement', outlined in the University's Strategy 2020.

Our approach to WP is articulated in our interim Widening Participation Strategic Statement (WPSS) for 2012-13 and 2013-14 and embodied in our Access Agreements. It's a targeted approach focused on groups who are and have been historically under-represented in higher education. The strategy focuses primarily on three priority target groups, those disadvantaged by:

  • socio-economic class
  • disability
  • childhood experience in care. 

Our broader strategy also embraces work related to age, gender and racial equality. In addition it provides for locally based higher education provision in the South West through a large portfolio of higher education level courses available within our partner college network.

Policy and reports

The University's updated interim Widening Participation Strategic Statement (WPSS) for 2012-13 and 2013-14 was submitted to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in April 2013.

The University's Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) has produced a Horizon Scanning Report: Widening Participation. The report includes:

  • a review of literature
  • examples of good practice throughout the full range of WP activities from outreach, induction and retention to employability.