Evidence based research

Evaluation has been embedded in the programme from the outset. The progressive framework forms the basis for our local evaluation, providing measurable key outcomes and objectives.

We have partnered with researchers from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education to develop our evaluation design and inform our analysis.

Our evaluation protocol consists of two complementary strands: 

  • impact evaluation assesses the outcomes of the delivery of our progressive framework, using a range of complementary quasi-experimental and experimental methods

  • process evaluation aims to understand how the intervention is implemented, assessed using qualitative methods.

We have integrated our evaluation with the Uni Connect programme. using data from the national baseline survey and Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT} for our analysis to avoid duplication of effort. 

In 2019, we conducted a baseline survey of 23,743 students in 104 schools and colleges across East Anglia. capturing 13,025 target students. This survey included questions developed by CFE. the national NCOP evaluator. as well as questions to inform our own evaluation. The survey provides crucial information about students' knowledge and attitudes towards higher education. providing a baseline against which our progress can be measured. 

In collaboration with CFE and the Behavioural Insights Team. we also conduct randomised controlled trials. These trials provide a unique opportunity for robust evaluation of innovative outreach interventions. The interventions consist of a set of text messages to Y11 and Y13 students. designed to nudge students to make more informed choices about post-16 and post-18 options.