November 30, 2017

We’re delighted to include this guest post from our colleagues at the National Educational Opportunities Network (NEON) and support their #OutreachWorks campaign. Please read below for further information.

At the core of widening participation is the outreach work that raises and supports the aspirations of learners from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds. Despite this, some question the effectiveness of outreach work on the basis that sufficient evidence proving its impact is limited.

The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) believes that outreach work is having a huge impact, and would argue that there are a range of things that constitute evidence, including the individual stories of students.

This is why NEON has launched its #OutreachWorks Twitter campaign.

It is important that those across the WP sector are able to shape the narrative surrounding the impact of outreach, rather than have this narrative shaped for them. #OutreachWorks will provide a platform for them to do so.

So far there have been over 70 tweets about some of the great outreach work that is happening across the country. A few examples of which are the University of Sheffield’s Discover US pre-16 outreach programme and their US in Schools mentoring programme, the University of Surrey’s #catastropheoncampus criminology experience scheme, and the delivery of the Reach for Excellence programme by the University of Leeds Talent Spotting Team.

NEON will be running this campaign until spring 2018 and will be collating the most interesting examples of impactful outreach in a report to be released next year.

Your input is welcome and participation is easy. Just tweet or retweet using #OutreachWorks to tag examples of research, testimonials, pictures or any content that demonstrates the impact of outreach work on widening access to HE.

If you have any questions about the campaign or any particular examples of projects which are having a significant impact please contact grace.imwensi@londonhigher.ac.uk