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About the programme

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme aims to support the most disadvantaged young people in England to progress into higher education (HE). It will run from 2016-17 to 2019-20. 

The programme consists of 29 consortia undertaking outreach activity in geographical areas where the HE participation of young people is both low and much lower than expected based on GCSE-level attainment.

The consortia comprise:

  • HE providers
  • schools
  • colleges
  • other organisations such as employers, third sector bodies and local enterprise partnerships.

Aims of the programme

The programme aims to support the Government’s goals to:

  • double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020
  • increase by 20 per cent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups
  • address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE.

The 29 consortia will deliver programmes of collaborative outreach in specific local areas where HE participation is low overall and lower than expected given GCSE attainment levels.

How the programme will be funded

HEFCE will provide £30 million in 2016-17 to establish the consortia and start outreach activity. 

From 2017-18, funding for the programme will be set at £60 million per annum.

Funding will be provided for two years in the first instance, from January 2017 to December 2018. Funding for a further two years to December 2020 will be subject to consortia making satisfactory progress towards meeting the Government’s goals.

Page last updated 7 February 2018