Who is widening participation and who is concentrating on research

May 14, 1999

Finding new ways to measure success

This graph is by Peter Knight, vice-chancellor of the University of Central England. He separates universities into three distinct groups that highlight the apparent incompatibility of research excellence with widening participation.

On the y axis is Dr Knight's indicator of research strength. He arrives at this by dividing an institution's total research grant for 1999-2000 by its total Hefce grant. On the x axis is the total universities will receive in 1999-2000 to widen participation among the poor and ethnic minorities divided by their total Hefce teaching grant.

Most of the stronger research institutions (high on the y axis) do poorly at widening participation (low on the x axis). The opposite is also apparent.

Birkbeck and the Open University appear flat on the x axis because widening participation money is awarded for full-time students over 25 only. Both institutions have only part-timers

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