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As part of the Government’s National Scholarship Programme, HEFCE  commissioned CFE consultants and the Widening Participation Centre at Edge Hill University to carry out a formative evaluation of the scheme.

This report summarises the outcomes of evaluation activity undertaken in 2012-13, the first year of the programme’s operation. It contains the results of survey and focus group work with participating institutions and recipients as well as summarising the programme’s emerging themes.

The role of this formative evaluation is to help policy-makers, HEFCE and participating institutions develop a fuller understanding of what works best and why in relation to the design and delivery of the NSP. The evaluation will also offer cumulative insights into the impact and influence that the NSP has on student decision-making, participation and retention amongst under-represented groups.  The findings may offer insights which have resonance for other schemes of student support.

The first year report was published in May 2012, with an addendum and summary of year one in March 2013.