This section includes a useful summary and links to core texts, reports and conference presentations related to widening participation and social mobility. The content will help colleagues to understand the social mobility and widening participation issues and provide information and inspiration. This resource will be added to as new reports are published

There’s also a note about data privacy and privacy policies.

Core texts

Literature Review

Reading List

Further Reading

Social Mobility Commission

 Bridge Group Research Reports

Sutton Trust Reports

Universities UK Policy and Analysis Reports


Office for Students

NUS Poverty Commission Report - Class dismissed: Getting in and getting on in further and higher education  (Feb 2018)
NUS - The Student Volunteering Landscape (Fiona Ellison and Helen Kerr, 2014)
KCL BIT - What Works Project Report 2015-2017: Behavioural insights in higher education
UPP Foundation & Social Market Foundation - On course for Success? Student retention at University  (2017)
AGCAS/QAA Scotland – Focus on Graduate Skills 2018/19
University Alliance - Response to the Office for Students consultation (October 2018)
The 5% Club - Apprenticeships key to creating social mobility & economic growth (September 2018)
Social Mobility Foundation - Social Mobility Employer Index (July 2018)
OECD: A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility (June 2018)
Russell Group - Social mobility briefing (December 2018)
IFS - Socio-economic differences in university outcomes in the UK: drop-out, degree completion and degree class (2014)
Higher Education Academy

HEPI / UNITE Students Reality check – Applicant Insight Survey (2017)

Research Conference workshop resources

Brennan, J and Shah, T (2003). Access to what? Converting education opportunity into employment opportunity [Final report]. Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, London, UK

Burke, C (2016) Culture, Capitals and Graduate Futures, Abingdon: Routledge

Gordon, D (2013) Employability and Social Class in the Graduate Labour Market PhD Thesis, Cardiff University, available from

IPPR (2017) The Inbetweeners: The new role of internships in the graduate labour market, London: IPPR, available from

*** Milburn, A (2012) Fair Access to Professional Careers: A progress report by the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty, Cabinet Office 
– unpaid internships

Sultana, R. G. (2014). Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will? Troubling the relationship between career guidance and social justice. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 14(1), 5-19.

Sultana, R. G. & Hooley, T. (2016). Career Guidance for Social Justice. National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (NICEC), 36, 2-11.

Higher Education: Social Mobility, Economic Development and Cultural Transformation. Peter Scott

Careers guidance and social mobility in UK higher education: practitioner perspectives. Fiona Christie

‘Fitting in’ or ‘standing out’: Working‐class students in UK higher education. Reay et al

What can higher education contribute to improving social mobility in the UK? Andrews and O’Mahoney

From graduate employability to employment: policy and practice in UK higher education. Minocha et al

Personal Data and Privacy Policies

A variety of regulations now govern what types of information Universities can collect. These regulations also recommend how the University should use information, how the University should keep it and who the University should share it with.

Increased regulation means your university is likely to have a team and/or a Data Protection Officer who can offer specific advice and guidance on information compliance, records management and information security. We suggest you work with them closely when thinking about what data you collect in relation to your social mobility and widening participation work, as well as how you use it, keep it, and share it.

As the social mobility and widening participation work of careers services further develops in line with the work of the Office for Students (OfS), it is likely any student contracts, personal data and privacy statements will need to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Useful links

Information Commissioner’s Office -

ICO Guide to Data Protection -