Image courtesy of the University of Kent

For a few years now, HEAT has been approached by a range of organisations, mainly smaller Higher Education Providers, or smaller non-profit making outreach providers, interested in joining the membership but who find the subscription price prohibitive. As a collaborative service, whose aim is to build a national dataset of outreach provision for a robust impact investigation, we have had many discussions on how we can be open to a wider range of organisations whilst balancing a tight self-sustaining budget. It is therefore exciting to announce that our Governance and Steering Group took the plunge and decided to use subscription fund accruals to match fund a lower subscription for this group of smaller providers. Having spent the last few years creating efficiencies in the service and system, we are confident that we can accommodate this new group without a detrimental impact on the current service level to all members.

Governance and Steering members feel it is our moral responsibility to be inclusive and share this member developed service, enabling smaller organisations to access the range of features, tools and expertise that HEAT has to offer.

“Opening our doors to new smaller members has mutual benefits, it is important that their contribution to outreach coverage is counted nationally, and we know that they can bring a new voice to the service. We have no doubt that they will benefit from being part of our community, not least being able to access a system which has been specifically designed by the sector to make monitoring and evaluation easier.  After all, we are all trying to work together to achieve the same aims so it makes perfect sense to share the service with an even wider membership. I am delighted that the membership decided to use their subscription funds to allow smaller organisations who meet certain criteria to join at a lower subscription, this shows the true spirit of the HEAT membership and its community ethos”.

Sharon Smith, HEAT Director

For details on the criteria members can see the HEAT Affiliate document in the HEAT File Store:

And it doesn’t end there…

HEAT members have also decided to collaborate with very small organisations who will not subscribe to HEAT but instead, sit under the wings of an existing member, who will offer access to HEAT under their responsibility. Contact HEAT Support for more details including criteria. Members can also find more information in the HEAT File Store. Chris Millward Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students shows support of this positive news:

“We are pleased to see that HEAT are providing alternative access to tracking services for smaller and alternative providers. Far more providers than before now have access and participation plans and many of them have identified the need to improve data and evaluation, for which HEAT and the other tracking services are crucial. We look forward to continue working with HEAT and the other tracking services to improve the targeting, monitoring and evaluation of HE outreach activities.”

Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students