What Works in Widening Participation
Embedding behavioural insights and robust evaluation in widening participation
What Works is an ethos and approach within King’s that has contributed substantially to delivery of King’s Vision 2029, various projects within our Education Strategy 2017-2022 and is core to our Widening Participation Strategy and Access and Participation Plan. It is a team delivering a series of innovative projects that demonstrably improve the experience of students from widening participation backgrounds and the student body as a whole and was the first initiative taking the What Works approach to access and student success within a university. We incubated TASO, which takes this ethos forward into the sector.
We are a research and evaluation team within King's. We use cutting edge data analysis and qualitative research methods to identify issues that students might be facing in accessing and succeeding at university and then trial interventions to see if they positively influence the identified issue.
Our role within King's is to support social mobility by ensuring that projects that are having a positive effect continue; with their impact measured and the evidence that they work shared and built upon. We believe in sharing what doesn’t work as well as what does work with the sector so that resources are not wasted on projects which are not having a positive effect.
In January 2018, we officially launched. Since then, we have worked to build consistent evaluation processes internally and add to the sector evidence-base of 'what works' in supporting the access, retention and success of students from underrepresented groups. Our projects are informed by cutting edge behavioural insights and data analytics, and robustly evaluated.
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How we contribute to King's College London
‘What Works is a major institutional priority for King’s College London, as we work to transform all aspects of Education and the experience of our students in the context of our Vision 2029. In reaching the highest academic standards in teaching and learning, and supporting our extraordinarily diverse student body at all stages of their education, What Works provides us with the insight and knowledge we need in designing and improving all aspects of the student experience, and understanding the impact of our far-reaching work on access and participation.’
Nicola Phillips, Vice-President and Vice-Principal (Education) and Professor of Political Economy, King’s College London
‘What Works is contributing to the world-class status of King’s by embedding robust research and evaluation methods into student success programmes and outreach activity. It is integral in ensuring robust evidence is available to practitioners to support delivery of our Education strategy commitment to embrace students as co-creators of the educational experience and ensure all King’s students are equipped for success.’
Darren Walls, Executive Director, Education and Students, King’s College London
Find out more:
To find out more visit our blog, follow us on Twitter @KclWhatWorks or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org