Celebrating Advancing Access

20 November 2017

Teachers across the country are benefitting from resources designed by Russell Group universities to help them support their students to succeed.

Advancing Access is a suite of free online resources designed to support teachers and advisers in helping students to choose the right university and course, and understand and navigate the admissions process.

The resources are being used by teachers and advisers in a range of schools and colleges across the UK. They have reached over 850 teachers and careers advisers, at nearly 450 schools and colleges, and we expect that number to grow over time.

A survey of those who are registered with Advancing Access showed that:

  • 100% of respondents agreed that the information and resources were useful, up-to-date and accurate.
  • 98% agreed that the resources reflected their experience of preparing students to apply to leading universities.
  • 76% agreed that the resources provided information they didn’t know before. 


Advancing Access provides guidebooks, information sheets and video case studies, developed in partnership with schools and colleges. The website also hosts online events and conferences enabling teachers and advisers to interact with university admissions staff. The first strand of the programme was launched in 2016, with the other three strands rolled out during 2017.

Advancing Access is being independently evaluated by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham, and the findings of the evaluation will be used to inform the next phase of the project’s development.

James Busson, Chair of the Advancing Access steering group, said: “Teachers play a key role in supporting young people in making decisions about their future and helping them to succeed in achieving their goals. These resources are being used by a teachers and advisers across the country to support them in undertaking this important task. This is a unique collaboration between Russell Group universities working with schools and colleges to give teachers the tools they need to support their students make successful applications to university.”


Russell Group universities will invest £254 million on access programmes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds this year, rising to £270 million in 2018/19. They make a positive impact by working with around 8,000 schools across the country, helping to raise standards, attainment and aspirations for young people.

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said: “The success of Advancing Access in its first year demonstrates that the resources are providing the support needed by teachers and careers advisers.

“Our universities have made real progress in widening access to their institutions in recent years with the number of disadvantaged and state school students rising significantly, but we recognise there is more work to do. The next challenge for Advancing Access will be to target those schools with the potential to send more pupils to a Russell Group university and provide them with the information and advice they need to realise that potential.”

Teachers and careers advisers can register here to receive Advancing Access resources https://www.advancingaccess.ac.uk/



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