The Challenge of Choice: How can the NCOP help young people choose HE?

  • Date


  • Location/Venue

      Manchester (TBC in booking confirmation email)

  • Time

      9:30 am - 4:00 pm

1 March 2017
9.30 – 16.00
Manchester (Venue tbc in booking confirmation)

‘The Challenge of Choice: How can the NCOP help young people choose HE?’

NEON is the forefront organisation supporting the delivery of access to higher education and the professional development of the widening access community with over 80 organisational members from across the UK, with over 60 HEIs and over 20 voluntary sector, partnership and network members.

10.00Welcome and introductionDr Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON
10.15Moments of choiceAndy Hollingsworth, Advisor, the Behavioural Insights Team


10.50Findings from NEON Against All Odds GCSE Attainment ProjectMartin Webster, Operations Manager, NEON
11.50Engaging schools in outreach work: Case studyGreater Manchester Higher & Manchester Schools
1.30How NEON is supporting the NCOP projectMartin Webster, Operation Manager, NEON
2.00NCOP – The challenges in designing a programme of activities to influence choiceDr Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON & Martin Webster, Operations Manager, NEON
2.45Feedback from group discussion
3.15Challenging choice – Programme design to inspire young people to consider higher education (Panel Discussion)Panel discussion (Ant Sutcliffe, Head, Higher Horizons +; Felicity Dunworth, Director, Kent and Medway Progression Federation; Jamie Bytheway, Project Manager, Greater Manchester Higher


We will be using the expertise drawn from our work and our members to offer a comprehensive programme of support for those delivering the NCOP to help consortia and staff tackle the challenges they face in this exciting programme and crucially, work with each other across geographical boundaries.

Our first event in the series will focus on what the evidence tells us about the key challenge at the heart of NCOP: what needs to be done in order to shift young people’s thinking regarding HE progression? It will draw on our 2016 HEFCE funded action research project ‘Against All Odds’, which looked at how schools have managed to overachieve their predicted HE progression rates in low participation areas, include input from the government’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on their research on how young people make decisions as well as from several NCOPs on the principles they are using in designing their learner programmes.