Profiling for widening participation
13 June 2006
UCL hosted a one-day meeting in June 2006 to present a number of innovative approaches to the challenge of widening participation in the higher education sector.
Keynote speakers for the event include Sir Alan Wilson (Director General for Higher Education, Department for Education & Skills, and a visiting professor at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) and Virginia Isaac (Director of Marketing & Communications, UCAS).
Many of the techniques and applications discussed at the meeting have been developed by Professor Paul Longley (UCL Geography) and Dr David Ashby (UCL Business). Professor Longley said: "By using geospatial analysis techniques, a few of the things we have demonstrated include how available UCAS data can help institutions to design their marketing and student support strategies, how to identify optimal geographical areas from which institutions can attract the best students, and how the nature of disciplines offered within institutions affect the types of students they attract."
The meeting also featured Derek Kasher (UCL Widening Participation Officer) offering an end-user view of their effectiveness in furthering UCL's mission.
The conference has generated considerable interest among professionals in higher education responsible for meeting government requirements on widening participation and for those responsible for developing their organisations' positions in UK higher education.
Image: This map, prepared by Mr Alex Singleton (UCL Geography), shows the geographical variation in UCAS tariff score attainments of school/college graduates across London. (Data © UCAS; classification courtesy Office of National Statistics)