Access and Participation Plans

Access and Participation Plans (APP) set out how a higher education provider will sustain or improve access, student success and progression among people from under-represented and disadvantaged groups. All Access and Participation Plans must be approved by the Office for Students (OfS) as a condition of charging higher tuition fees.

An Access Agreement sets out the following:

  • A University’s proposed tuition fee limits
  • A detailed plan of what a university intends to do to promote/sustain access to higher education, student success and progression
  • The financial contribution a university will make to delivering this plan
  • The measures of success to be applied to evaluate the impact on improving student success and outcomes.
  • A communication plan for how a university will promote the financial support it offers to students.
  • The period over which the agreement will be in place

Access and Participation Plans are submitted annually, but the commitments made in each agreement remain in force for the cohort of students who entered in the year to which it applies, throughout their studies. So, Universities normally have several agreements running concurrently for students at any one time, relating to different years of entry.

A university’s performance against an agreed Access and Participation Plans are monitored and reported to the Director of Fair Access annually.

The University of Northampton has submitted and has had approved Access Agreements in place for each academic year since 2006. Details of the current all previous Access agreements and the latest Access and Participation Plan can be found on the OfS Website.

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