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In September 2019, the University of Chester received approval of its new five year Access and Participation Plan 2020/21 from the Office for Students (OfS). 

Access and Participation Plans set out the University’s plans for continued investment in activities to ensure equality of opportunity in access, success and progression in Higher Education for all underrepresented groups. The plans provide details of where the University performs well and where the University needs to make some improvements in its performances of underrepresented groups.

The University of Chester has a strong reputation and track record for welcoming students from a wide range of backgrounds and providing students from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds with a high quality and supportive experience.

​The University will continue its long-standing commitment to:​

  • widening participation an​d fair access by investing in increasing its intake of undergraduate students from under-represented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds. The University works with schools and colleges to improve the achievement of children and young people, and raise awareness of and aspiration to higher education (HE);​
  • delivering high quality learning and teaching and the provision of support services to include, retain and develop successful learners who may have diverse characteristics; ​
  • supporting students throughout their time at University and beyond, underpinning our commitment to their progression by ​providing opportunities to enhance their readiness for  graduate employment or further postgraduate level of study.

Who are the ​underrepresented groups?

Students categorised as being underrepresented in higher education are:

The OfS also consider the groups below as underrepresented in higher education:

  • Estranged students;
  • Carers;
  • People estranged from their families;
  • People from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities;
  • Refugees;
  • Children from military families.

The University’s past and current Access and Participation Plans can be found below. In addition, from 2019/20 ‘impact reports’ are also available, these summarise the progress made by University of Chester against targets, objectives and written commitments set out in the respective access and participation plans. 

Any Access Agreements prior to 2016/17 can be accessed and downloaded directly from the Office for Students (OfS) website.