Our Impact

“We’ve been a school working with Future U for over a year now, they are very supportive, anything they can help us with they will help us with, I can’t recommend them highly enough.”

School Careers Lead

Since our launch in 2017, Future U has engaged with over 22,000 learners in Lancashire and delivered over 57,000 hours of activities which aim to support individuals’ abilities to make informed decisions on their futures and encourage their continuation into Higher Education (HE).

Future U is one of twenty-nine Uni Connect Programmes which have collectively contributed to 42% of all outreach work recorded across England on the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT). Among pupils from underrepresented groups that have engaged with the Uni Connect programme, HE participation rates are 11% higher.

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LEARNERS

0 %

of all outreach work recorded across England

0 %

Higher rates of he participation

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hours of activities

What are our aims and objectives?

Our objectives as set out by our funder the Office for Students (OfS), are:

  1. Contribute to reducing the gap in higher education participation between the most
    and least represented groups.
  1. Equip young and adult learners from underrepresented groups to make an informed choice about their options in relation to the full range of routes into and through higher education and to minimise the barriers they may face when choosing the option that will unlock their potential.
  1. Support a strategic local infrastructure of universities, colleges and other partners that can cut through competitive barriers, offer an efficient and low-burden route for schools and colleges to engage, and address outreach ‘cold spots’ for underrepresented groups.
  1. Contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach.

Why is Evaluation important?

To ensure we meet our objectives, we must evaluate our activities and practices. We do this by collecting a range of evidence and feedback from individuals who have engaged with us to understand whether what we are doing is working, how well it’s working, and who it’s working for.

Evaluation is essential as it helps to identify areas of improvement, solve problems, informs decisions, and it builds our knowledge.

How will we achieve our aims and objectives?

To achieve our aims and objectives, we must break them down into smaller and more achievable targets and deliverables. Our targets are informed by evidence and research on individuals from underrepresented groups in HE.

Our more achievable goals collectively feed into our overarching aims as set out by the OfS.

When designing our evaluation, we use an evidence informed Theory of Change model. This helps us understand the journey of those we wish to engage so that we can better support them.

How do we measure our achievement?

We measure our achievement through tracking and monitoring numbers of individuals engaged with Future U and asking for feedback to determine the quality of the engagement. All activities aim to achieve a specific framework outcome, and we ask participants questions to judge whether the activity met its objective.

Once we complete our data collection (gathering feedback from participants), we analyse the information to see how we could improve the activity for the future, and ensure we embed the learning and disseminate our results. In the next section you can read some of our previous evaluation reports.

Our evaluation

Report

Uni Connect National Evaluation:

An Analysis of Young Participation in Higher Education in England in the Areas Targeted by Uni Connect

Report

Formative Evaluation of Uni Connect Phase Two:

Summary of Findings (Ipsos Mori)

Report

Stemfirst Mentoring Report

Report

Evaluation of the Future Writers Project

Our Research

As a Uni Connect we research areas where there are unexplained gaps in higher education participation. We use this research to determine where to investment in more targeted activities to help reduce the participation gap in underrepresented groups

Report

Speak and Be Heard:

Listening to Schools’ Perspectives on Widening Participation Provision

Report

Formative Evaluation of Uni Connect Phase Two:

COVID-19 and Uni Connect (CFE Research)

Report

Understanding the Potential Barriers to HE Faced by Marginalised Groups of Young People aged 11-19 in Lancashire and Enablers for their Continued Education Engagement

If you have any questions or want advice you can get in touch.

If you have any questions or want advice you can get in touch.