Evaluation of Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge. First survey of Opportunity Bursary applicants 2002/03: preliminary findings

Anne West, Audrey Hind, Hazel Rennell

23 November 2005

Available to download from DfE

At the beginning of the 2003/04 academic year, as part of the evaluation of the Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge programme, a survey of young people who had applied for and were deemed eligible for Opportunity Bursaries was conducted. The intention was to seek the views of around a third of successful Opportunity Bursary (OB) applicants after they had completed the first year of their higher education programme, and an equivalent number of unsuccessful applicants. The overall aim of the survey was to gather information about the characteristics of the successful and unsuccessful applicants, their attitudes towards higher education, their financial situation, reasons for entering higher education and sources of information about higher education.

This report provides key findings that emerged from the survey. An outline of the Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge programme is given in Section 2. Section 3 provides an overview of the methods adopted and Section 4 presents key findings. Section 5 summarises the main issues and implications for policy.

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