Evaluation Activity & HEAT Membership

Our Work on Evaluation

The Collaborative Projects team engages with a range of evaluation activity as part of its contribution to Access & Participation (APP) commitments and dedicated Uni Connect targets. This includes attending various internal and external working groups and representing the University of Bedfordshire as member of the Higher Education Access Tracker. 

The University of Bedfordshire has been a member of the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) since 2011 and uses this to support monitoring and evaluation of its Widening Participation activities. The University aims to record a variety of outreach engagement on HEAT with the aim to measure the effectiveness of this work on assisting students’ progression into higher education. Being part of the HEAT membership we benefit from the research into the relationships between outreach participation and student outcomes – including progression to Higher Education and success in HE.

Collecting individual participant data enables us to run and develop our activities and to evaluate how effective they are at helping young people to achieve their full potential, including learning more about university. Our funding requires us to be able to evidence our work and its impact.

The University additionally sits on the HEAT Steering Group (which is made up of representatives from 25 of the members), the Database Development Panel, Data User Network and is an active member in the HEAT Member Forums.

If you want any further information then please contact Paula Page, Collaborative Outreach Projects Manager paula.page@beds.ac.uk

Alternatively, you can find information at HEAT.AC.UK

As part of Uni Connect, Aspire Higher work with CFE Research as part of the evaluation at a national level to assess how successful the programme has met its aims.  This is in addition to the Aspire Higher local evaluation. 

CFE's evaluation will use a range of qualitative, experimental methodologies and include a review of the local partnership evaluations at key points in the programme.


As part of the Office for Students national evaluation of activity, Aspire Higher work as a consortium in order to undertake and report on: 

  • quantitative analysis using national administrative data sets to assess:  
  • key stage 4 and 5 behavioural change 
  • numbers of entrants to higher education 
  • attainment 
  • progression 
  • ongoing monitoring and governance of partnerships, including account management and monitoring of biannual financial returns and operating plans. 

Click here to read the OfS Phase 1 End of Year report.