NEON Summit – Data and widening access to higher education: What does it show and how do we use it?
2 June 2018
NCSEHE Senior Research Fellow Nadine Zacharias provided an invited address at the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) Summit “Data and widening access to higher education” on Tuesday 5 June in London, offering an overview of the Australian experience in terms of “Data, Access and Success in Higher Education”. Nadine also contributed to the closing panel, alongside Professor Les Ebdon (Applied Inspiration; formerly OFFA), Dr Diana Beech (Higher Education Policy Institute) and Louis Coiffait (WonkHE), who discussed “How should widening access data inform policy?”
The Summit featured keynotes from Carys Fisher (UCAS) and Maggie Smart (Office for Students) who represented the UK-wide tertiary admissions centre and the newly established higher education regulator respectively. Graeme Atherton, Director of NEON, presented the high-level findings of a soon-to-be-released research report titled The Widening Access Scorecard – measuring progress in making HE more equal. Practitioner presentations provided detailed and frank insights into the use of data in outreach and retention work.
It was clear that colleagues in the UK, be they practitioners, researchers, or policymakers, struggle with similar issues as their counterparts in Australia despite using slightly different language. The establishment of the new Regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), currently provides the impetus for assessing the kind of equity data and performance measures needed to generate greater and faster progress towards a more equitable higher education system.
More information on the Summit is available on the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) website.