Linking London | News | 12 February 2016: Event Report - Access to HE Diploma Practitioner Group Meeting

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Access to HE Diploma Practitioner Group Meeting

Linking London held its second Access to HE Diploma Practitioner Group Meeting of the 2015-16 academic year on the 12th February 2016.


After an introduction and welcome, the first presentation to the group was made by Marisa Castellini (Curriculum Development Manager – Access to HE, OCN London).

Marisa’s presentation provided an update on current Access to HE Diploma developments and paid particular reference to the OCN London and London South Bank University Partnership Agreement. She began by discussing what the changing educational landscape means for the Access Diploma, particular as regards student funding, and the new UCAS tariff. The partnership agreement between OCN London and LSBU was then explained, and the benefits gained by both institutions were outlined. Marisa concluded by highlighting some of the key problems faced by Access learners – including HE offers, loans, and GCSE requirements and provision.

Amanda Spurrier (UCAS Progression Adviser, Centre for Health, Social & Childcare, City & Islington College) then provided our second presentation: an overview of the work she and her college do to support the progression of Access Students.  Amanda’s presentation included:

  • Good practice case studies
  • Entry criteria for Access courses
  • Personal Statement composition
  • Bespoke workshops and a description of the applicant journey

The effect of the planned changes to NHS bursaries and the changing student demographic were discussed at the conclusion of the presentation. A general discussion followed, with attendees providing updates on student numbers, progression and retention figures, and discussion of best teaching practice to fit the needs of the Access Learner. Partnership agreements and Access expansion plans were also discussed.

The meeting concluded with an update from Andrew Jones on the Linking London Access to HE Diploma work-strand, with reference to data work and recent publications.

The next meeting will take place on the 5th May 2016, 2 – 4.30pm.

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 please email


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