Evaluation of the Reach for Excellence Programme: Cohort 3 and school/college link views

Jane Nicholas, Emily Lamont, Palak Mehta, Helen Aston

30 April 2012

The third Cohort of 142 students enrolled in 2009 and completed the programme in 2011. Only one survey was administered to Cohort 3 students (e.g. there was no baseline survey) and 52 responded (37 per cent). There was no comparison group.

Key Findings

  • The experiences of Cohort 3 students reflected those of previous cohorts, demonstrating the value that RfE offers to participants. Students were largely opting to progress to research intensive universities, thus fulfilling one of the key aims of RfE.
  • The majority of students felt that participating in the programme has raised their aspirations, made them more prepared for university, and helped them to develop a range of study skills and personal attributes that will help them to be successful in their application to university and in their subsequent studies.
  • Students felt that the most valuable elements of the programme are: spending time on campus, attending the summer school, subject-specific sessions and information around UCAS applications.

In 2011 we also surveyed representatives from the schools and colleges from which RfE students had been drawn about their views of the programme. We sent the survey to 53 of these link staff and received 23 responses (a response rate of 43 per cent). We also carried out short telephone interviews with 8 link staff.

  • The responses of staff in the schools and colleges from where RfE participants were drawn echoed those of the students, showing the value that they too place on the programme. For example, link staff felt that RfE had helped students prepare for university and raised their aspirations.
  • School/college staff thought that RfE targets young people well, although there was some call to widen its scope so that even more young people can participate.
  • Staff felt that RfE offers students opportunities and support beyond that which the schools and colleges could provide themselves.

Sponsor Details

Sutton Trust