According to David Roberts of Heist (THES Letters, February 5), research indicates that students from lower income groups apply for a limited range of subjects in relatively few local institutions. These findings have major implications for initiatives designed to widen access to higher education, most of which are local and regionally based.
HiPACT, an association of 20 higher education institutions, has a target achievement programme that encourages non-traditional students to take advantage of a full range of universities and courses. School students in English and Welsh schools without a tradition of HE entry can engage in motivational programmes oriented towards higher education. Participating institutions agree to give special consideration to such applicants, usually by reserving a fixed number of conditional offers and by making offers at a level slightly below the norm for the courses concerned.
Roger Warren Chairman, HiPACT, c/o Information Systems, University College London