2020-21 to 2024-25 access and participation plan

Widening Participation

What is an access and participation plan?

Access and participation plans set out how higher education providers will improve equality of opportunity for under-represented groups to access and succeed in higher education, and progress into highly skilled employment or further study.

You can see the full access and participation plan for the University of Central Lancashire on the Widening Participation webpage. 

Key points 

See page 1-9 of the full plan.

The University of Central Lancashire is a large higher education provider with UK campuses in Preston, Burnley and Westlakes. It has a large network of partner colleges in the surrounding regions and offers flexible provision including degree courses and apprenticeships.

The focus of our access and participation plan is on improving access to higher education for specific groups of students, and outcomes. Data shows that, compared to their peers at the university, outcomes are lower for certain groups of students.  

Overall access to our courses from students with low-income backgrounds has improved. However, we still have further to go.

Ethnic minority students are less likely to receive a degree award of 2:1 or above. This is especially true of Black students compared to White students. This is being addressed through actions described later in this plan.

There has been a strong improvement in disabled students achieving a degree award of 2:1 or above, and also in progressing to employment or further study. 

Fees we charge

At the University of Central Lancashire, the maximum fees charged per year are:

  •  £9,250 for full-time UK students
  • £11,100 for full-time UK students on an accelerated course
  • £6,930 for part-time UK students

You can see a full list of fees for courses at the University of Central Lancashire on the fees and funding webpage

Financial help available

See page 15-17 of the full plan.

We offer financial advice and support to students from under-represented groups. This helps students access higher education and continue studying until their course is completed.

The support includes: 

  • Targeted financial support for students with low household income (below £20,000).
  • A bursary fund that assists with financial support, equipment, and help with additional course materials. 
  • A hardship fund that supports students facing financial hardship, including emergency payments for unexpected financial crisis.

You can read about our full list of bursaries at the University of Central Lancashire on the scholarships and bursaries webpage.

Information for students

See page 23-24 of the full plan.

We publish clear information for existing and prospective students about our courses, particularly around money and fees.

  • Prospective students receive information on fees and financial support and advice at in person events, such as our open days, by visiting our website, and by email and post to people that apply.
  • Current students receive information about fees and financial support and advice through our Student Portal web pages.

For the most up-to-date information, see our university website.

Evaluation – how we will measure what we have achieved?

See page 21-23 of the full plan.

The work we do in our access and participation plan is informed by evidence about what works for students. We will collect data and feedback to evaluate:

  • Our overall approach to access and participation
  • The impact of the different activities we are doing to achieve our aims
  • The 9 programmes of activity outlined above
  • How we are performing against our commitment to enabling people, no matter their background, to fulfil their potential and meet their life and career goals

The Access and Participation Plan Steering Group will monitor and report on these processes to the Teaching and Students Committee. The Committee will oversee implementation of actions to ensure ongoing progress against yearly milestones in our access and participation plan. We will monitor impact on our target groups, to ensure we are addressing our aims. Where needed, we will adjust our interventions in the best interests of our students. 

We will begin to publish evidence from our evaluations on our website by January 2024.  

Contact details for further information 

Please email our Equality and Diversity Team for further information.