NEON’s summit on ‘Where to now for outreach? Innovation and impact of Covid 19 on widening access to HE work in 2020-21’ took place on Wednesday 1st July. Over 750 people registered for the free online event and speakers for the event included Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities , Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students and Sander Kristel, Chief Operations Officer, UCAS.
The event highlighted the work that has been done to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19 so far by the national widening access community and what new resources and projects have been developed. It will also look forward at what should priorities be for outreach work in and how we can work with schools and colleges in 2020-21.
During the event, the universities minister has called on higher education institutions to do more to “open up opportunities” to disadvantaged school pupils amid fears of a widening attainment gap under covid-19. Michelle Donelan said the coronavirus pandemic presented particular challenges for disadvantaged pupils who “may not be able to rely on their schools, colleges or teachers for information, advice and guidance that is so crucial in this time of their lives”.
Responding to the Ministers speech Graeme Atherton, NEON’s director, said: “The government’s own evidence still shows that going to university brings economic and social benefits for the vast majority of students – from all backgrounds, but sometimes these benefits are apparent only over the long term. It is not true that widening access work has taken advantage of young people, rather it has transformed thousands of lives over the last 20 years.”
For the materials from the event, please see below.
- Click here for the recording of the event.
- Click here for the delegate chat during the event.
- Delegate list.
- Click on the names below for the presentations:
- Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities
- Sander Kristel, Chief Operations Officer, UCAS
- Martin Webster, Operational Consultant, NEON
- Sam Bailey, Outreach Evaluation & Impact Coordinator, Imperial College London
- Richard Boffey, Deputy Head, AccessHE
- Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive, Confederation of School Trusts
- Jan Parnell, Director of Education, Hammersmith & Fulham Council