Access issues

August 6, 1999

The article on the discussion about policy responses to widening access at the annual Conference of the European Access Network presents what was said by a member of our staff during a debate exploring the potential advantages and pitfalls of different approaches as established Scottish Higher Education Funding Council policy ("Access to be Scots' top priority" THES, July 16 ).

Several remarks were misattributed to him, in particular that he claimed that there has been a "tokenistic" and "gesture-like" approach to widening access. These remarks were, in fact, made by another contributor from Northern Ireland. Access will be the council's top priority, but there will continue to be a role for targeted development funding alongside the main teaching funding methods. The council has recently announced its intention to explore a method for some re-direction of resources to support key policies, together with a number of important detailed reforms to the current method, and it will be consulting on these details in the autumn.

David Wann, Deputy chief executive and director of funding, SHEFC

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