Strategic approaches and funding
Universities receive funding for widening access to raise educational aspirations and skills, promote higher education-level study and improve student retention.
We will be revising our Strategic Approach to Widening Access to Higher Education to align with HEFCW’s new Corporate Strategy.
In its guidance to HEFCW on fee and access planning, the Welsh Government confirms that it wants fee and access plans to make a significant contribution to widening access to higher education.
The Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 makes provision for plans, formerly known as fee plans, to be called ‘fee and access plans’ emphasising the contribution they are intended to access to higher education.
Fee and access plans set out how regulated institutions will invest a proportion of their income in supporting equality of opportunity and the promotion of higher education and engaging with groups under-represented in higher education.
Regulated institutions set out their objectives and provision to support groups under-represented in higher education, including groups with protected characteristics.Additionally, fee and access plans must include provision to:
- Attract applications from groups under-represented in higher education
- Retain individuals from groups under-represented in higher education
- Provide financial assistance to students
- Make available to students or prospective students on financial assistance
- Inform prospective students of fee levels
We give extra funding - an Access and Retention premium for part-time and postgraduate taught courses - in our annual funding to universities to recognise the extra costs of recruiting and retaining students from under-represented groups.