Widening participation

University access

Only 24% of young people eligible for free school meals go to university, compared to 41% of their better-off peers.

We work with charities like The Access Project and IntoUniversity to improve university access for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many organisations like these rely on widening participation funding.

Impetus is calling on the government to protect widening participation funding so that we can close this university access gap for disadvantaged young people. Together with our charities and other charities in the sector, we've issued a statement on widening participation, in response to the government’s post-18 education funding review. We also met with Sam Giymah, former Minister for Universities and Science to discuss how we can protect widening participation together.

We're also calling on government to help ensure recent social mobility gains are not sent into reverse – a danger of fee cuts.

Find out more

Youth Jobs Gap: Higher Education

Higher Education is one of the most topical issues in politics, with the UK government’s post-18 education and funding review (the Augur review) due to report back imminently. For the first time, this Youth Jobs Gap report analyses the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data, showing the clearest picture of disadvantaged young people and their access to higher education to date, including differences between different regions in England.

May 2019

Backing the best: Our work with IntoUniversity

This impact report tells the story of our 11-year partnership with IntoUniversity, totalling nearly £4 million worth of investment team hours, pro bono projects and funding. With our help, IntoUniversity are helping more and more disadvantaged young people – who are half as likely to get a university place than their peers – beat the odds.

November 2018

Backing the best: Our work with The Access Project

In 2014, just over half of the pupils The Access Project was working with were from disadvantaged backgrounds and of these, 66% applied to a selective university and 33% got in. By 2017, following four years of partnership with Impetus, over 90% of pupils came from disadvantaged backgrounds and of those, 85% applied to a selective university and 53% got in. This story reveals how they did that.

November 2018

Funding for the future

With the government’s review of post-18 education ongoing, and most of the debate seemingly centring on tuition fees, we must remember that widening participation work is essential to helping more disadvantaged young people access higher education.

June 2018

Closing the gap in university access: a response to the DfE Green Paper ‘Schools that work for everyone’

Disadvantaged young people are half as likely to university compared to their better off peers. This briefing explores how universities can help improve school attainment and widen access to university.

December 2016

The road most travelled? The 16-19 journey through education and training

This report reveals the journey of 16-19 year olds through education and training: who they are, how they perform, and where they go. Part of our Life After School campaign.

March 2016