Widening participation ensures the representation of individuals from backgrounds that are not well represented in student and staff bodies. These would typically be groups and individuals who are:
- from a first generation to consider higher education
- from low socio-economic groups
- attending schools of low progression
- living in low-participation neighbourhoods
- mature students from the above groups
EUR is already working extensively with schools and colleges where relatively few students progress to higher education and those who will be the first generation of their families to go to university. These are individuals who in future will be the important role models for their peers around them.
Widening participation has typically been used to involve individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups such as individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds. However, it increasingly includes social groups that are increasingly underrepresented in higher education, such as majority ethnic (White) males from a working-class background.