The Impact of Widening Participation Admissions Policies on Science Foundation Year Students’ Experience
The admissions policy for the Science Foundation Year at the University of Nottingham has recently been broadened through consideration of Widening Participation criteria. Students with A-levels that are accepted for direct entry onto undergraduate science degrees but at lower grades are now considered provided they meet the criteria associated with the University’s Flexible Admissions Policy. Analysis of module and overall programme outcomes for the 2019-20 cohort indicates that students with two or more science A-levels outperformed those with one or no science A-levels during closed-book assessments, but this gap narrowed when students completed open-book assessments. Students reported that they enjoyed being in a diverse community and particularly valued the opportunities for peer support that the mixed cohort offered.