On behalf of the Sutton Trust, NEON Director Dr, Graeme Atherton has undertaken the most extensive scoping to date of how leading universities in different countries are addressing inequalities in access for those from low income and other marginalised backgrounds.
The report ‘Room at the top: Access and success at leading universities around the world’ released last week, examined work in 20 leading universities in the United States, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Chile and the Netherlands. Consultations were also undertaken with universities from the United States, France, Canada, Ireland and South Africa.
The report highlights the extent to which universities from across different countries are engaged in extensive programmes of sustained outreach work but approaching this work from different standpoints that often have a strong emphasis on developing cultural capital. It shows how it is becoming common place at leading universities, in particular in the United States, to introduce specific initiatives that focus on supporting ‘first generation’ students when they enter higher education. It also includes examples of how some prominent global universities that are renowned for leading in the field of research and scholarship are now looking to lead in the field of diversity and inclusion including access/success.
The report recommends that:
- leading universities in the UK undertake ‘institutional conversation’ led by senior leaders which focus on diversity, inclusion and access,
- identities related to first generation students are celebrated and dedicated teams formed to support such students
- a global network to exchange practice/knowledge in the field of access and success activities amongst leading universities is constructed.
To access the full report please go to: https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Room-at-the-Top.pdf