NEON ONLINE Conference: Access and Participation Plans & the new Equality of Opportunity Register – Meeting the challenge, 19th March, 2024.


  • Date


  • Time

      9:00 am - 1:00 pm

NEON Conference: Access and Participation Plans & the new Equality of Opportunity Register – Meeting the challenge, 19th March, 2024.This event will now take place ONLINE.

Apart from a small number of volunteer providers, who submitted their Access and Participation Plans (APP) in 2023, all higher education providers in England will need to write a new and different Access and Participation Plan (APP) by either May 2024 (for early recruiters) or from July 2024. The Office for Students (OfS) have asked for a new approach to regulating access and participation which involves significant changes in the data that providers need to collect and the plans they need to produce.

This event, convened by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) and featuring a keynote address from the Office for Students, will be the opportunity for those in the sector responsible for producing APPs to gather the necessary information to enable them to adapt to the new regulatory environment, and learn from several higher education providers who went through the process in 2023. The event will address the following questions:

  • What was the learning from the small set of providers who submitted their plans in 2023?
  • How do providers assess and prioritise their own risks to equality of opportunity?
  • What additional data will providers need to collect and how can they do this?
  • What does effective student engagement, in order to develop the plans, look like?
  • What evidence is available from across the sector that can support the focus on equality of opportunity?
  • How can providers meet the prospective requirement to increase the volume of evaluation they undertake?
  • How are different providers from across the sector meeting the new challenges in producing their APPs?


Who should attend?

  • Pro Vice Chancellors with ultimate responsibility for APPs;
  • Senior Managers with responsibility for writing and/or delivering parts of the APPs;
  • Evaluation Managers and Officers with responsibility for monitoring and evaluation APP interventions;
  • Heads of Department and/or Senior Managers with responsibility for outreach activities, student transition, student attainment or student success and employability;
  • Representatives of Uni Connect partnerships, or other organisations, wanting to gain a greater understanding of the APP process.


Speakers include:

  • Suzanne Carrie, Head of Student Equality and Welfare, Office for Students
  • Dr Omar Khan, Director of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO)
  • Sara Raybould, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience), University of West London
  • Lynne Downey, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student and Registry Services), University College of Estate Management
  • Gino Graziano, Director of Widening Participation and Social Mobility, University of Southampton
  • Sarah Harder Collins, Deputy Director Student Support and Success, University of Winchester