Regional clarification

December 6, 2002

Your report on Partnerships for Progression (P4P) ("Meet target or lose cash, report warns", THES , November 29) suggested that the Higher Education Funding Council for England would withdraw funds from institutions if widening participation targets were not met. This is not the case.

We have set manageable and achievable targets for each region but not for individual institutions. We have done this so that we can assess the progress we are making towards our ultimate aim of 50 per cent participation by 18 to 30-year-olds by 2010.

More detailed targets will be set by the P4P partnerships themselves, linked to activities that they will be submitting in their strategic plans.

However, this is a complex business, with the delivery of targets dependent on a wide range of factors and partners.

Higher education institutions and further education colleges are working hard to deliver the increased participation we all want to see.

We are much more interested in supporting them, rewarding success and (depending on the grant settlement) investing more, than in taking money away.

John Rushforth
Director (widening participation)
Higher Education Funding Council for England

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