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Widening access: a ‘backwards step’ on a slippery slope

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“If we want universities to be for the many and not the few, the government needs to step in and pledge to ensure vital outreach work is properly funded.”

These were the words of charity chief executive Andy Ratcliffe as he labelled a move by the Office for Students (OfS) a “backwards step”.

Ratcliffe, who runs Impetus-PEF, an education charity, said that the OfS’ decision to no longer require colleges and universities to set aside a specific amount of tuition fee income for widening participation activities opened the door to for institutions to cut expenditure on them completely.

“I am ...

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