Linking London | News | 16 May 2019: Event report - Access Practitioner Group Meeting

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Access Practitioner Group Meeting

The third and last Access to HE Diploma Practitioner Group meeting of the academic year was held on 16th May and was well attended, with 20 partner representatives present.

After a warm welcome from Andrew Jones, Director of Linking London, delegates heard from Marisa Castellini, Head of Access to HE, OCN London. Marisa shared the latest Access updates with the group, including the key points from the QAA Access Forum in April, QAA developments, new diplomas for 2019-20 and updates on unconditional offers and predicted grades.

Following this, Lena Read, Head of Curriculum and Partnership Development, OCN London, then presented to the group on mental health awareness in FE and HE, including the key messages from the QAA Access Forum and OCN London health and wellbeing courses. 

A roundtable partner update then followed where partners shared information on entry requirements, student wellbeing, outreach offers, and college partners discussed the recruitment and retention of Access learners and HE progression. Discussion included the rise in unconditional offers and the effect this has on Access courses.

After a networking and refreshment break, the group heard from Bushra Iqbal, Deputy Director of HE and Access, Newham College of Further Education who shared her reflections on recruiting and supporting Access learners to succeed and progress from a Newham College perspective. Bushra discussed Newham's approach to recruiting and supporting Access learners, including their programme structure, how the college suits the needs of the local area and changes implemented to support students on their Access journey.

The meeting closed with Andrew Jones, Linking London updating the group on the latest Linking London Access to HE Diploma work.

The first Access meeting of the next academic year will take place in October at Birkbeck, University of London - date and time TBC.

Presentations and meeting note

To view the presentations and meeting note from the day please click here. This link will take you to the Partners' Area of the website. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website and you will need your login name and password. If you do not know your login name and password, then please email


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