Reaching Wider initiative
HEFCW established the Reaching Wider initiative in 2002 to break down perceived barriers and widen access to learning. The Wales-wide initiative supports social inclusion and economic up-skilling.
Reaching Wider aims to increase higher education participation from groups and communities in Wales by raising aspirations, and creating new study opportunities and learning pathways to higher education. It engages with four main groups of people of all ages who are currently under-represented in higher education. The Welsh Government has set targets for two of the groups, while targets for disabled students and black and ethnic minority communities are to be agreed:
Four regional Reaching Wider Partnerships have been established to co-ordinate activities in North Wales, West and Mid Wales, South West Wales and South East Wales, and ensure local skills are used to provide relevant learning opportunities for local people.
All higher and further education institutions in Wales are members of Reaching Wider partnerships. Other regional partners include local authorities, schools, the voluntary sector, the Open University in Wales and Careers Wales.