NFER Evaluation of Realising Opportunities - Cohort 2

Helen Aston, Kelly Kettlewell

16 May 2014

Realising Opportunities (RO) is a unique collaboration of leading universities, working together to encourage and support the 'most able but least likely' students to apply to research intensive universities. The second cohort of students enrolled in 2011 and completed the programme in summer 2012. The NFER evaluation included baseline surveys of 298 RO students (an 85 per cent response rate), and follow-up surveys of 97 students. We also analysed UCAS data and contextual data on the background of the students.

Key Findings

  • As with Cohort 1, the evidence suggests that students in Cohort 2 have been well targeted and are those student who are likely to be the ‘most able but least likely’ to attend research intensive universities.
  • Most students applied to attend university and nearly all who applied received at least one offer from a university. The majority of those who applied received an offer from a RO partner university.
  • Students felt that RO had impacted on them in a number of ways, in particular, helping them to develop study skills, reference academic sources, understand what a research intensive university is, understand student finance and gain a better knowledge of the UCAS process.

For information on the other cohorts please visit:

  • Evaluation of Realising Opportunities Cohort 1
  • Evaluation of Realising Opportunities Cohort 3