The focus on HE providers to ensure that students from WP groups and low participation and low income backgrounds receive every opportunity to enter, progress, achieve and secure good graduate outcomes has never been greater. Senior managers within HE careers have never had greater opportunity to be more involved in wider university strategy and operational delivery. This involvement may now be in relation to every stage of the student experience from recruitment to graduate outcomes and ongoing alumni relations. However our experiences and levels of engagement vary widely from provider to provider.

The quotes in this section are provided by careers leaders in universities with different profiles to try to provide examples of contrasting approaches. They present a series of ‘where we are at’ pictures from civic universities with a high percentage of WP students, to a Russell Group institution, to campus universities with relatively low WP participation. The quotes have not been attributed but they provide some useful contrasting examples.

As you read this please be prompted to share your experiences or reflections on the changes within your university or provider, or your region or country. Every experience may be unique but the more we share, the more we will learn and be able to use the SM Toolkit Audit Tool – to review and note current activity within your service and institution.

WP and Social Mobility are defining themes of this era of careers leadership. Our success in helping students and graduates to overcome inequality of access, achievement and outcomes will contribute to the success of a generation of students, and of our countries and potentially the wider world. This is a global issue, and one which should encourage us all to set aside competitive instincts and share our best practice. Only then can we all learn and make the most effective use of the resources we have to help reduce inequality and enhance outcomes, for everyone.

So, even if you aren’t usually inclined to share your best practice, and especially not examples of your less successful activities, please consider doing so by submitting a case study.

University Governance of WP and Social Mobility

Metrics, Data and Reporting

Various approaches

Leading Social Mobility and WP Activity within Careers

Job Titles and Reporting lines

Communication with / engaging WP students and graduates

These notes and resources for Careers leaders will be reviewed regularly. Please contact the Social Mobility and Widening Participation Working Party if you have any examples, case studies or suggestion for future content additions.