What is the access and participation plan?
Our Access and Participation Plan (APP) sets out how we will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education.
We identified the following risks to equality of opportunity by completing an assessment of performance using the Office for Students (OfS) APP data dashboard, the OfS Equality of Opportunity Risk Register (EORR), and the priorities set by the Derby and Derbyshire Priority Education Investment Area Boards:
- Derby City and Derbyshire are areas where pupil outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) and Key Stage 4 (KS4) are amongst the lowest in England with sustained underperformance at both Primary and Secondary level
- Black students are less likely to be offered a place on our courses than students from other ethnic groups
- Students of colour, students who disclose a mental health condition and students who previously received free school meals are less likely to continue their studies at the University after year one
- Students of colour and students who previously received free school meals are less likely to be awarded a First-Class (1st) or Upper Second-Class (2:1) degree at the University
- Asian students are less likely to progress to highly skilled employment or further-level study after they complete their studies at the University
Fees we charge
At the University of Derby, the maximum fees we charge UK undergraduate students are:
- £9,250 for full-time students
- £6,935 for part-time students
Financial help available
We offer financial support* to students from underrepresented groups. This helps students access higher education and continue studying until their course is complete. The support includes:
- An annual bursary of £1,000 for the duration of the course if the student's household income is below £25,000 or £600 if the student's household income is between £25,001 and £36,592
- A one-off bursary of £1,000 if the student studied at Buxton and Leek College within three years of moving into higher education at the University of Derby
*The University is reviewing its financial support offer for academic year 2025/26 onwards. Proposed changes will be submitted to the OfS for approval in academic year 2023/24. The University wishes to tailor its financial support offer to best meet the needs of the target groups identified in this plan and to secure the maximum positive impact on students' continuation, attainment and progress outcomes.
Information for students
- We provide information to help prospective students (and parents/guardians) to decide if the University of Derby is the right choice for them
- Prospective students receive information on fees and financial support at in-person events, such as open days, out-reach events, social media and email communications
- New and returning students receive information about accommodation, enrolment, induction, and finance through the website, student portal, social media channels, internal communication campaigns and emails
What we are aiming to achieve
We strive to ensure that all students can thrive during their university experience and beyond. The APP identifies a set of priorities where additional and targeted intervention is considered necessary. Our APP interventions seek to address the following:
- To support Primary and Secondary school pupils across Derby City and Derbyshire to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be accepted onto higher education courses that match their ambitions and expectations.
- To understand the reasons why Black applicants are less likely to be offered a place on some University of Derby courses than students from other ethnic groups and take action to improve the offer rate for Black applicants. This objective will be measured through changes to the offer rate.
- To enable students of colour to successfully progress through their studies and attain the highest possible degrees outcomes. This objective will be measured through continuation and attainment rates.
- To enable students who previously received free school meals to progress successfully through their studies and attain the highest possible degrees outcomes. This objective will be measured through changes to continuation and attainment rates.
- To enable students who disclose a mental health condition to progress successfully through their studies. This objective will be measured through changes to continuation rates.
- To enable Asian students to progress to highly skilled employment or higher-level study. This objective will be measured through changes to progression rates.
What we are doing to address key risks to equality of opportunity
We have designed and will deliver and evaluate a range of activities to tackle the risks to equality of opportunity and help us achieve our objectives:
- Our students will visit local schools to provide mentoring, learning, and reflection and writing support for Key Stage 3/4 learners and reading and writing support for Key Stage 2 learners, while also tackling non-academic barriers to educational progress
- We will support local schools to improve and assist with workforce develop through curriculum review and development activities for teachers and teaching assistants
- We will analyse our admissions data to gain a better understanding of why Black applicants are less likely to receive an offer at the University and, based on these findings, improve the inclusivity of our selection processes and provide enhanced pre-application support for Black applicants
- We will review the inclusivity of our curriculum content, delivery, and assessment methods, make sure that student work placements are inclusive, develop a new Student Equality Ambassador Scheme, and complete further research into students' lived experiences
- We will make sure that our financial support offer (bursaries) has the best possible impact for our students
- We will develop a Healthy Campus strategy to create a whole University community approach to support mental health and wellbeing of students, use mental health support network applications to provide instant access to peer-to-peer support, make sure our staff are trained to offer the best possible support to students
- We will boost graduate outcomes for Asian students through individual strengths profiles, access to activities provided by employers and external careers organisations, access to industry role models and regional networking opportunities and enhanced personal academic tutor support
How students can get involved
- Share your views - over 100 students contributed to the design of the plan through online surveys, focus groups, and 'on the ground' research at University events
- Contact the Union of Students - the Union contributed to the development of the plan and the activities we will provide to help achieve the access and participation goals
- Join our Student Ambassador and UniBuddy schemes - we employ students to work with prospective students in a variety of settings such as Open Days, chatting via the UniBuddy platform, visiting schools and colleges to provide advice and guidance
- Become an elected student representative. Students sit on all academic committees at the University, including the Access and Participation Steering Group. The Learning & Teaching Committee and the Governing Council's Student Affairs Committee are co-chaired with the Union of Students.
Evaluation - how we will measure what we have achieved
- We used the best available evidence on what works to improve equality of opportunity for students to select the activities listed in the plan
- Evaluation is embedded in our activities so we can better understand what has worked and where improvements can be made in the best interests of our students
- We have developed a new APP Evaluation Framework and Knowledge Hub to provide advice and guidance for colleagues and to allow them to share their evaluation outputs
- Our evaluation findings will be shared with Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO), an independent hub established by the OfS to help improve equality of opportunity in higher education
- The University's APP Steering Group will monitor and report on these processes and oversee the delivery and evaluation of activities to ensure ongoing progress against yearly milestones in the plan
- The APP Steering Group reports progress to the University Executive Board, Academic Board and Governing Council
Contact details for further information
You can contact Dan West at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information