Higher education outreach during the pandemic

The OfS has published a briefing note that set out how HEIs and their partner organisations are responding to the challenges of supporting disadvantaged students through outreach programmes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ordinarily, HEIs work with third party organisations such as schools, local authorities and the third sector to raise awareness and expectations, challenging barriers and providing opportunities for those students who, traditionally, have not sought to advance their education. The emergence of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown has meant that a rethink has been needed to identify new ways to engage with potential students. The briefing report highloghts a number of steps that have been taken by HEIs and their partners, including

  • “creating new digital platforms and appointing student ambassadors to support learners online
  • developing additional online resources and individualised support for applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • sending creative supplies and activity booklets to students who are less able to access online learning
  • offering one-to-one tutoring and providing internet access for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families
  • providing tailored webinars, videos and guides to support specific groups that may be particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, including mature, disabled and black, Asian and minority ethnic students.”

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