Evaluation of the Realising Opportunities Programme


CRAC has been supporting the Institute for Employment Studies’ evaluation of the Realising Opportunities programme and has co-authored its latest impact report, titled ‘Improving access for the most able but least likely: Evaluation of the Realising Opportunities Programme. The report explores the success of Realising Opportunities (RO) which is a unique collaboration between leading research-intensive universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility from groups underrepresented in higher education. 

The programme supports and inspires year 12 and 13 students in England, from disadvantaged backgrounds, and amongst the encouraging key findings within the latest impact report are the following: 

  • Increased student understanding about research-intensive universities and about university life more generally, making them them better prepared for university applications;
  • Over 90% of participants in the most recent cohort applied to university (and 9 out of 10 of these to a research-intensive university);
  • Around one in three RO students do ultimately enrol at a research-intensive university, compared with one in four in the comparator group receiving alternative outreach support;
  • RO students are more likely to travel away from their home region to go to university than other students of similar socio-economic background profile;
  • Four fifths (80%) of the most recent graduates originally on the RO programme obtained a 1st or 2:1 degree, slightly above the proportion amongst all UK students including those from the most advantaged backgrounds;
  • RO alumni are just as likely as any other graduates to enter graduate-level employment or to take up further study. 

Read the whole report here

Evaluation of the Realising Opportunities Programme