TASO is currently focusing on two research themes:
- Theme 1: Effectiveness of Widening Participation Outreach
- Theme 2: Gaps in the Student Experience.
In 2019, TASO commissioned the Education Policy Institute (EPI) to review the existing evidence base for widening participation (WP) activities. EPI’s report was released in January 2020 and it available for download: The impact of interventions for widening access to higher education.
Following consideration of this report, TASO’s Theme 1 Working Group recommended we generate new evidence on a number of WP approaches. In response, TASO launched a call for partners to participate in two research projects: a randomised evaluation of summer schools and an evaluation focused on identifying the effective elements of multi-intervention outreach schemes and mentoring.
This call closed on 14 February 2020.
In light of COVID-19, TASO has postponed the evaluation of 2020 summer schools. Successful applicants have been invited to take part in 2021.
Following consideration of the current evidence on effective practice in addressing gaps in the student experience, Theme 2 Working Group (TWG) has recommended that TASO seek to improve our understanding of approaches to addressing continuation and attainment gaps for BAME students.
Call for partners
Our call for partners to address continuation and attianment gaps for BAME students closed on 24 April 2020.
We are aware that many HE providers are currently facing significant disruptions due to COVID-19. While we plan to start this project in September 2020, we will work with successful providers to develop appropriate timelines.
We also recognise that ongoing disruptions may have prevented some providers from applying. Where possible, we will review opportunities to include more partners in the future.
In 2019, TASO commissioned a review of the evidence for activities designed to address inequality in the experience and outcomes of students in higher education. This review is under development by the Bridge Group and Coventry University.
Further details will be released later in 2020.