Uni praised by fair access watchdog for work to boost student success

University news

Wednesday 03 June 2015

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Coventry University's work to support disadvantaged and disabled students has been highlighted in a report published today by the government's higher education watchdog for England.

Figures from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) – the independent body established to promote fair access to higher education – put Coventry fifth in the country (and top in the Midlands) for its expenditure on activities supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they achieve success in work or further study.

A number of the University's outreach activities to help disabled students are singled out in the report, including its 'disCUss' initiative – a summer school to help new students familiarise themselves with university life; and 'Move On Up' – a support programme which welcomes any disabled student over 16 years to get a taste of the transition from school to higher education.

The University's 'Friendly Faces' programme – a weekly social group for students on the Autistic spectrum – is also highlighted in the report, and has for the first time this year spawned a disabled students' society through the students' union.

Ian Dunn, deputy vice-chancellor for student experience at Coventry University, said:

We're pleased to see that the Office for Fair Access has chosen to highlight our support programmes for disabled students as leading examples of widening participation and outreach work amongst UK universities.

Our continued investment into ensuring that the student experience at Coventry is second to none – regardless of your background – has been key to our recent success, not only in the league tables but also in reaching the extraordinary levels of satisfaction among our students. We hope that our efforts will continue to encourage and inspire students from all walks of life to take up higher education.

Last month Coventry University rose 12 places to 15th in the Guardian University Guide 2016 – the highest ever position for a modern university – and it is currently the 'University of the Year for Student Experience' in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015.


For further information, please contact Alex Roache, external press and media relations officer, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7765 5050 or email alex.roache@coventry.ac.uk.

Full details of the outcomes from 2013-14 access agreement monitoring are available in OFFA publication 2014/04, Outcomes of access agreement monitoring for 2013-14, available at www.offa.org.uk/publications.