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About the programme

This programme aims to address barriers to student success by supporting 17 projects involving 61 different higher education (HE) providers. It is funded through the Catalyst Fund.

The students most affected by differential outcomes are:

  • black and minority ethnic (BME) students
  • students from low socio-economic backgrounds
  • disabled students
  • mature students.

These groups experience significant differences in levels of retention, attainment, progression to postgraduate study and progression into work.

Read more about our work on differential outcomes

Funded projects

Seventeen collaborative projects will be funded up to £500,000 each. The partnerships involve 61 HE providers and 26 other organisations such as charities, employers and local enterprise partnerships.

The programme will cover a broad range of areas including:

  • inclusive and active teaching and learning practices
  • well-being for students
  • progression to postgraduate study
  • graduate employability.

See the list of funded projects


Externally commissioned evaluators Warwick Economics and Development Ltd will evaluate the programme at a national level over two years. 

Individual projects will evaluate their own activity at a local level, which will feed in to this national evaluation.

Evaluation approach

The programme evaluation has three parts:

  • ongoing evaluation of the entire programme, identifying and sharing good practice 
  • supporting the evaluation of individual projects
  • bringing together findings and recommendations from the projects, assessing their overall impact.

What the evaluation will assess

The evaluation will assess how successful the programme has been in meeting its aims to:

  • support collaborations that have scaled up approaches to address differential student outcomes 
  • support collaborations that have scaled up successful innovations for disabled students  
  • identify good practice across a diverse range of providers, and identify what conditions need to be present to facilitate this good practice.

Evaluation objectives

The evaluation will seek to:

  • ensure funding is spent according to plan
  • assess the impact that can be attributed to Catalyst funding
  • demonstrate the value of any impact at individual, provider, project, and national levels
  • identify differences between approaches to see if these differences are associated with different participation rates and progress
  • establish what works, why and in what circumstances.


Page last updated 12 December 2017