TASO is seeking applications for its latest research project, which will comprise a discrete evidence synthesis on the value of higher education (HE). The focus of the project will be to review the existing body of evidence relating to the extent to which HE benefits society and individuals. A particular emphasis will be placed on addressing existing equality gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

The project will form an important part of TASO’s strategy to influence the HE policy narrative and elimination of inequality through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of high-quality evidence about effective practice in widening participation and student success.

It is vital this focuses tightly on equality gaps (rather than on general benefits of HE more broadly). Below is a non-exhaustive list of which topics and themes on the value of HE we anticipate the report will include:

  • Income and labour market effects for disadvantaged students attending HE
  • Closing the gaps for self-actualisation
  • Social cohesion and the education effect – the student experience
  • Social return on investment (SROI) in higher education
  • R&D investment and society-wide benefits (where these can be shown to address equality gaps)
  • The prosperity of towns and regions with universities
  • Contributing, or not, to social mobility

The review should prioritise UK evidence but where this does not exist suppliers should cast the net more widely and look at the international evidence.

For more information on the expected project deliverables, how to apply, and the key project timings, please find the full invitation to tender (ITT) here.

The deadline for applications for this project is 11th August 2021. Any additional queries in the meantime can be sent to Helen.Lawson@taso.org.uk

Many thanks for your interest – we look forward to receiving your application.