LSE graduates hold foam letters spelling 'LSE'

Evaluating widening participation at LSE

LSE is committed to understanding the impact of our activities on the young people we work with. We support the most talented students into university, regardless of their background.

How do Widening Participation participants benefit?

This year, we have been phasing in a new evaluation framework to link participants’ outcomes to our aims and objectives (you can download these below).

On projects where the new framework has been implemented, we are able to show how participants’ attitudes and knowledge has changed as a result of participating.Participants frequently joined projects feeling uncertain about how certain aspects of higher education worked. By the end of the project, most of them had improved their understanding of higher education and how to participate.

Students understand UK HE system

The majority of students also felt more confident about their ability to enjoy university and participate fully in student life following participation in the project.

Students feel more connected to university

100% of participants that were surveyed increased their knowledge of terms associated with university following participation in the project. In 2017, 89% of surveyed participants on an intensive LSE Widening Participation scheme received a confirmed offer to university. Over 60% of the offers were to a Russell Group university, including LSE and Oxbridge.

University type tracking


What plans do we have for further monitoring and evaluation?

We want to keep building the evidence base for our work to ensure we are making decisions based upon the best possible information.

We are:

  • Rolling out our new evaluation framework across all pre-entry projects
  • Implementing our Research, Monitoring and Evaluation strategy (available for download below)
  • Building relationships with LSE researchers to undertake targeted projects that investigate research questions around interventions and impact of interest to LSE and the sector more broadly
  • Working at the forefront of wider sector efforts to robustly evaluate the impact of Widening Participation activities
  •  Continuing to review our priorities for targeting our pre-entry activities, to ensure we are identifying key groups of students for our work
  • Further developing our aims and objectives to reflect our holistic understanding of the full range of stakeholders who benefit from WP activities

Find out more

“LSE has a longstanding commitment to fair access and widening participation - recruiting students with the highest academic and intellectual potential, regardless of their background.  

“We are delighted that concerted effort and recent initiatives have helped turn more applications from talented but under-represented students into offers. We will continue to monitor and build on this work, seeking out the most effective ways we can attract exceptional students from all parts of society.”

LSE Director Minouche Shafik