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How we fund widening participation

This page covers allocations made directly to higher education institutions and further education colleges. Details of allocations made to Aimhigher partnerships are available in our publication 'Guidance for Aimhigher partnerships' (HEFCE 2008/05).

We have allocated £143 million directly to institutions for widening participation in 2010-11 (HEFCE 2010/30).

Funding for widening participation is broken down into two sections.

1) Widening access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds

This allocation is intended to meet some of the additional costs incurred by institutions for outreach activity to raise aspirations and attainment among potential students from under-represented groups. The funding method for widening access applies a weight to undergraduate new entrants according to:

  • young HE participation by ward for full-time undergraduates under 21 on entry
  • or the proportion of 16-74 year olds with a HE qualification by ward for part-time and mature undergraduates.

A detailed description of the widening access allocation method is available.

2) Widening access and improving provision for disabled students

To calculate this allocation, we take into account the number of students at each institution in receipt of the disabled students' allowance (DSA). A description of the disability funding method is available.

Funding for improving retention is part of the 'teaching enhancement and student success' allocation.

Widening participation allocations for 2010-11 (October 2010 announcement)

We have allocated the funding for widening participation as shown below.

Funding element Full-time Part-time Total
Funding for widening access £61.6M £68.7M £130.3M
Funding for students with disabilities     £13.2M
Overall total £143.5M

The following download displays widening participation allocations for 2010-11 broken down by institution and funding element.

2010-11 WP allocations

WP Allocations 2010-11 - October announcement

(note that all figures shown are before the June 2010 pro rata saving of 1.08868 per cent)
[ Download WP Allocations 2010-11 - October announcement as MS Excel 67K ]

For more information contact your higher education policy adviser or Sarah Howls on 0117 931 7073, e-mail

Last updated 12 November 2010