HEAT and DfE explore areas of mutual support

In early November, the HEAT Research Team met with staff at the Department for Education (DfE) to discuss our research in general and, more specifically, our initial findings in relation to outreach, KS4 outcomes, and Higher Education progression. As the HEAT Service expands, we continue to cultivate relationships with people and organisations that are becoming ‘critical friends’ in relation to our research agenda. The DfE, now reunited with Higher Education in one department, is just such an organisation; and one that can also provide us with technical help in accessing and understanding data sets such as the National Pupil Database. […]

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Does HEAT provide value for money and value added?

We are asking HEAT users to complete our HEAT Review Online Survey as part of research to examine the value of the HEAT system and how it might develop in future. This exercise is required by HEFCE for the rollout funding and we are grateful for your participation. Your input will also help inform what a sustained HEAT service should look like, in terms of the membership design and the services provided. Please take part in this survey now (if you have not already done so). The survey questions are designed for different types of HEAT users, including those who […]

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Access to admissions data via the ADRN

In a letter recently sent out to university Vice-Chancellors, Mary Curnock Cook (OBE), Chief Executive of UCAS, announced the transfer of a comprehensive set of named individual-level admissions data to the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex for access by academic researchers via the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN). Approximately 35 million data items from 2007 to 2015 have been transferred, covering 4.8 million applicants, which will be updated annually. This will enable researchers to access and link individual-level data in safe, secure and appropriately controlled environments to support research into progression and access to higher education. In […]

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Request for input to new WP guidance commissioned by OFFA

Researchers from the Universities of Warwick and York have been commissioned by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and the Sutton Trust to produce guidance for institutions on how to evaluate outreach initiatives targeted at young people who are either from disadvantaged backgrounds or first in their family to go to university (link to OFFA project webpage). To ensure the guidance produced is suitable for all institutions, the researchers are undertaking a scoping exercise designed to elicit some information on: Types of outreach activities used by institutions The extent to which institutions evaluate the activities they offer Types of data […]

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Is your background a factor for success?

Your background still influences your earnings even after graduation according to a recent study published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Findings show that ten years after graduation students from richer family backgrounds earn on average £8,000 a year for men and £5,300 a year for women more than students from lower-income backgrounds. The research linked anonymised individual Student Loans Company data with HMRC tax records over a 10 year period for 260,000 students comparing earnings, institution attended and subject studied. [Link to source article] [Summary webpage]

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Changes to national programmes ahead

The National Networks of Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) will cease this December to be replaced by a new four-year initiative, the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), with experts warning that the changes could lead to a ‘loss of momentum”. [link to source article]  

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New Higher Education programme for young refugees

Monthly sessions at Nottingham Trent University have been launched to provide support for young refugees and asylum seekers. The programmes offer advice about the UK Higher Education system including taster classes and financial aspects of Higher Education.  [Link to original article]    

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Response to recent article on UCAS, printed in The Independent 4 August 2015

After reading this recently published article (click here to read) regarding UCAS we felt it necessary to issue a response letter, the details of which we would like to share (below):   Dear Sir or Madam, We read with frustration Andrew Grice’s article in The Independent (4th August 2015) on UCAS refusal to release student data. HEAT is a collaboration of over 40 English universities working together to evaluate the impact of fair access programmes. The article talks about “suspicions that higher education institutions would rather data be kept secret as it would expose their record on fair access”.  This […]

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How does HEAT work with NNCOs?

SCENARIO 1: NNCOs where ALL universities are already HEAT members HEAT is already working with some NNCOs to help them capture, record, monitor and evaluate activity.  If all individual universities within an NNCO are HEAT members, then HEAT can set up the NNCO as an associate member (at no extra cost) and provide them with: Set up of NNCO as an associate member on the database allowing unique capture of NNCO activity and student records which can be shared[1] with university members Easy data capture via imports (templates can be provided to partners e.g. FE colleges to capture data locally […]

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A small change to our issue-management process…

Currently (and historically), the HEAT Central Team has communicated directly with members at all stages of issue management, from acknowledging receipt of an issue to checking with the member that they are entirely happy with the solution. This has meant that all communications are bespoke and there has been almost no use of email templates and certainly no auto-responses. Of course whilst this is something that is feasible with a small membership, the ongoing HEAT expansion (with many new members joining the service) has meant that some slight changes will need to be made to ensure that we are being […]

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