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National evaluation of the Realising Opportunities programme

Posted on 16 May 2013

A team at the University of York’s Institute for Effective Education (IEE) has been commissioned to carry out the national evaluation of the Realising Opportunities (RO) Programme.

This is a major evaluation in the field of widening participation at a time when universities and policy makers are having to give considerable attention to ensuring fair access to Higher Education.

The RO Programme is aimed at increasing the numbers of young people from under-represented groups taking up places at research intensive universities. Currently 12 universities are participating in the programme, which is aimed at Year 12 and 13 students, and has been in operation since 2009. In August, the number of participating universities will increase to 15.

The project team is Dr Peter Rudd, Professor Frank Hardman, Professor Bette Chambers, Louise Elliott and Kate Thorley. They will work closely with the RO Central Team based at Newcastle University, led by Barbara Herring.

The methods for the study include a student attitude survey, detailed statistical analyses of the students' characteristics, progression and outcomes beyond Year 13, including the use of multi-level modelling (MLM), and interviews with RO staff in the 12 universities. Evaluation reports will be produced at regular intervals and the project will run until June 2016.

Notes to editors:

  • For further information on the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York visit

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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