Access and Widening Participation



From our very beginnings in 1826, UCL was founded to be open to all, irrespective of religion, race and background.

Nearly 200 years later, UCL continues to be at the forefront with its work on social mobility and education. UCL has one of the largest WP operations in the country. Our work is innovative, evidence-led and shapes national direction, working at all levels from primary through to mature students returning to education.

We work with:


  • Primary: introducing the idea of higher education at an early age, leveling the playing field of aspiration and expectation. 
  • Secondary: creating cohorts of engaged learners. Supporting their attainment and learning skills, and advising them of their study options and pathways.
  • Prospective university students: advice and guidance about university applications, and the realities of university life and study. Helping students to see that they belong at a highly selective university like UCL. 

UCL Departments

  • Providing guidance and practical support to help departments meet their widening participation objectives. 

Current UCL Students 

  • Supporting first year students in their first term at UCL through the Transition Programme
  • Drawing on the experience of current students as ambassadors, mentors and taster presenters.


  • Providing up-to-date information, advice and guidance for teachers to keep themselves informed. Developing a community of teachers engaged with UCL and the HE sector. 


  • Providing parents and carers with the knowledge and language of HE and related processes to help them support their children. 


  • Research and evaluation of WP practice and policy, to improve UCL’s widening participation performance and contribute to the knowledge base of the HE sector as a whole.