We welcome today’s publication of access and participation guidance along with the release of the Equality of Opportunity Risk Register (EORR). The EORR will help give focus and direction to the sector’s equality of opportunity work, without asking providers to fundamentally change their approach where it is already effective and evidence-led. It also gives fresh impetus to the conversation, at provider and sector-level, about how risks to equality of opportunity both shape and are shaped by the cost of living crisis.
The key to making this new approach to access and participation work will be in the implementation. We are pleased to see the OfS commit to support the providers submitting Access and Participation Plans this summer but it will be vital to take lessons from this exercise forward into the next round of submissions in summer 2024. London-based providers are under-represented in the first cohort of APP submissions relative to the size of London HE as a proportion of the sector, so the emphasis on lessons learned is absolutely critical. We look forward to working with the OfS and our members to achieve this.